Detroit Apple Developer Academy celebrates its first promotion | MSUToday

Apple, Michigan State University and the Gilbert Family Foundation today celebrated the achievements of the graduates of the first cohort of the Detroit Apple Developer Academy.

The Detroit academy is the first in the United States, launched as part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. The free program offers students the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and app developers by learning the basics of coding, design, marketing and project management, emphasizing inclusivity and having a positive impact on local communities.

“Ten months ago, we opened the doors to the Developer Academy with a shared vision to advance diversity, equity and inclusion and nurture leaders, developers and entrepreneurs who could make an impact. on their local communities,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD “Today we celebrate nearly 100 graduates and their remarkable achievements that will undoubtedly positively impact the city of Detroit. and our state for many years to come.”

“As the first graduates of our Detroit Developer Academy, these students have demonstrated remarkable creativity, service to their communities and resilience during the pandemic,” said Lisa Jackson, vice president of the environment, policies and social initiatives of Apple. “We’re excited to see how this class will use their coding and app development skills and the power of technology to build a better world.”

The 2022 graduates range in age from 18 to 64 and come from diverse backgrounds with a variety of educational experiences. They received 10 months of comprehensive and intensive app development and entrepreneurial training, with all necessary iOS development equipment provided as part of the program. During the program, graduates have developed new apps now available on – or coming to – the App Store that meet a range of consumer needs, including travel, health and wellness, gaming augmented reality and more. The iOS app economy supports more than 2.2 million jobs in the United States, including 45,000 in Michigan.

“The academy doesn’t just teach you to code or design; it gives you the complete blueprint for success as a developer,” said Jaleel Lawthorn, who enrolled in the academy to catapult his transition from auto painter to full-time entrepreneur. “It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and the support system is beyond any support system I’ve had at any educational institution.”

After graduating, academy students found employment with companies such as GM, Ford, Accenture, Rocket Mortgage and others to leverage their expertise in coding, business, design and technology project management. Additionally, some students stay at the academy to participate in its internship program, while others continue their studies.

“I literally feel like I can do whatever I want,” said Alesha Duncan, who has been hired as a design mentor at the academy for the next year. “The Apple Developer Academy has given me a different kind of confidence in my skills, in who I am, and in my ability to get out there and impact the world.”

The academy, located in the heart of downtown Detroit, was generously supported by the Gilbert Family Foundation, in partnership with Rocket Companies. The philanthropic investment is part of the Gilbert Family Foundation’s joint ten-year, $500 million commitment alongside the Rocket Community Fund to provide greater economic mobility and educational opportunities in Detroit.

“We are proud to invest in the Apple Developer Academy and, more importantly, in these more than 100 graduates. As entrepreneurs, developers, and actors, these students will have a significant impact on whatever they pursue,” said Jennifer Gilbert, Co-Founder of The Gilbert Family. This impactful partnership with Apple and MSU will continue to provide equitable access to opportunities like these, so that underrepresented industries are more inclusive and reflect the diversity of our city and our world.
The academy is already recruiting for its next cohort of students and accepting applications for the upcoming class on a rolling basis. People 18 or older from all walks of life who want to lay the foundation for a career in the app economy are welcome to apply. Registration is available at no cost and students are not required to have prior coding experience. The students in this year’s class bring a wealth of personal, professional and academic experience to the program.

For more information about the programs and ways to participate, visit the Apple Developer Academy.

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