The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and Apple announced a partnership to identify, develop and harness talent from the nation’s community of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The over $40 million multi-year commitment from Apple is the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs.
“Our partnership with Apple is going to be a real game changer for HBCU students and faculty. Working with the most innovative company on the planet, we’re going to expose more African American students to the possibilities of a career in technology and inspire them to become future tech innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President and CEO. “For over a quarter century, TMCF’s mission and focus has been to provide scholarship support to students attending publicly-supported HBCUs and we’ve been working hard to extend that commitment to creating a pipeline of outstanding career-ready graduates. Apple shares our vision of a diverse workforce and working together we can ensure our students will not only have equal opportunities to pursue the jobs of their dreams, but also empower them to lead others to accomplish the same.”
“Education is in Apple’s DNA and by partnering with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund we have a unique opportunity to help inspire the next generation of diverse talent to love technology as much as we do,” said Denise Young Smith, Apple’s vice president of worldwide human resources. “When we first spent time with TMCF we were impressed with their vision and focus. Knowledge is the great equalizer and we want to invest in the best and brightest students in our HBCU schools to encourage them to pursue a career in technology or join the hundreds of thousands of app developers changing the way we all use our devices. Together, we can change the workforce for the better because inclusion really does inspire innovation.”
The multi-year commitment Includes funding to build a talent database, internships for high achieving students, exposure to Apple’s campus and work environment, and funding of faculty innovation grants focused on developing successful ways to accelerate HBCU students into STEM environments. Through TMCF’s entrepreneurial division, select students who have desires to build businesses using technology will have an opportunity to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and discover new pathways to successful entrepreneurship through developing new ideas and new apps.
“I love my iPhone and couldn’t wait to get my first app up on the App Store. Graduating from college and going to work for Apple – the best company in the world – would be a dream come true,” said Tony Burrus, a senior at North Carolina A&T State University. “The commitment Apple is making to recruit students like me from HBCUs means the future for my graduating class just got even brighter and that’s what diversity should be about.”