Garston Seneza, a junior at Philander Smith College and a computer science and mathematics major also said the students were given a tour around the Apple campus and also met with mentors.

Denise Young-Smith, vice president for worldwide human resources, Apple, spoke with Black Enterprise on the significance of the program.

“Historically black colleges and universities are a treasure and a treasure talent pool that for whatever reasons; proximity, culture…has been somewhat less than minimally tapped by the tech industry, said Young-Smith.

“Being an HBCU graduate myself, I understand this depth of talent that many companies, unfortunately, don’t get to see…given that most HBCUs are geographically located in the southeastern [part of the U.S.], she said.

Young-Smith was familiar with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund saying the organization has “a good reputation and “solid board leadership” With TMCF, Apple wanted to understand why great students coming from the several HBCU engineering schools, such as Tuskegee and Howard, were not getting exposure and access to Silicon Valley.

“We decided to embark on a long-term partnership, says Young-Smith. We agreed to an apprenticeship that encompassed many facets that would not help just Apple, but helps the students and some of the really focused faculty members that we met, and helps the tech industry as a whole.

Fei Wu

Fei Wu is the creator and host for Feisworld Podcast.

She earned her 3rd-Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, persisting when the other 8 year-olds quit the hobby. Now she teaches kids how to kick and punch, and how to be better humans.

She hosts a podcast called Feisworld which attracts 100,000 downloads and listeners from 40 different countries. In 2016, Fei left her lucrative job in advertising to build a company of her own. She now has the freedom to help small businesses and people reach their goals by telling better stories, finding more customers and creating new revenue streams.