Jul 1, 2022 - Business

Apple academy graduates its inaugural class

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of environment, policy and social initiatives and Mario Crippen, a graduate.
"I was so excited to hear my favorite tech company was investing in Detroit," says graduate Mario Crippen (right) pictured beside Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of environment, policy and social initiatives. Photo courtesy of Apple

The Detroit Apple Developer Academy celebrated 100 area residents who graduated from its inaugural cohort yesterday.

Why it matters: The free program aims to turn interested individuals into entrepreneurs and app developers by having experienced developers and industry professionals teach the fundamentals of coding, design, marketing and project management.

  • "This is a city with a vibrant legacy of Black and Brown entrepreneurialism and innovation, you can feel the energy here," Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in a press conference.

Details: The 2022 graduates range in age from 18 to 64 and come from diverse backgrounds with a variety of educational experiences.

  • Over the 10 month academy, which is supported by Michigan State University and the Dan Gilbert Family Foundation, the cohort received intensive app development training.
  • Some of the new apps they worked on are now available on the App Store.

What they're saying: "We started in October during the school year, so, I'd go to four classes at Renaissance in the morning, and then at noon I'd leave to work on our apps," Paul Campbell, a recent Renaissance High School graduate, tells Axios.

  • "Too many Detroiters have not had — no matter how talented you are — the equity, the mentorships, the internships and jobs, so for (Apple) to come here and take advantage of that talent was hard for me to believe," Mayor Mike Duggan said at the event.

What's next: Applications are now open for the 2023 class, which is doubling in size to 200 students.

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