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.