Tag: Denise Young Smith

30 HBCU Students Receive Scholarships from Apple in $40 Million Diversity Effort

(Image: Denise Smith Young - fortune.com)
Apple VP Denise Young-Smith (photo via fortune.com)

Apple made a $40 million dollar multi-year commitment, the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs.  Apple awarded 30 HBCU students a one-year college scholarship and a summer internship program at Apple’s headquarters at the Leadership Institute in Washington D.C., last weekend.

Hosted by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) the students were chosen from across 47 HBCUs. The 30 Apple scholars were announced by Denise Young-Smith, vice president for worldwide human resources, Apple. Young-Smith is herself a graduate of an HBCU; Grambling State University.

“The people at Apple don’t just create products—they create the kind of wonder that’s revolutionized entire industries,” remarked Young-Smith at the ceremony. “And it’s the diversity of those people and their ideas that inspires the innovation that runs through everything we do, from amazing technology to industry-leading environmental efforts,” she said.

The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is part of the new Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative between Cupertino and TMCF. As part of the partnership, Apple made a $40 million dollar multi-year commitment, the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs.

“There are ‘scholarships’ and then there are ‘scholarship programs,’” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. “Apple has made an historic investment in a scholarship program that will transform the lives of HBCU star students by not only removing the financial barriers to college attendance, but by providing them additional non-financial program elements like Apple mentors and summer internships. These Apple HBCU Scholars will be the future tech industry leaders.”

The scholarship includes up to $25,000 for their senior year; a summer internship in Cupertino, California; participation in a year-round program to prepare for post-graduation careers; pairing with an Apple mentor during their senior year; the opportunity to serve as Ambassadors on their campuses to build awareness about the Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative; an invitation to attend TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute; and participation in the Apple HBCU Immersion Experience in Cupertino.

“This program is about exposing gifted students from HBCUs to a career in technology. We’re big believers that innovation will be strongest when talented people from diverse backgrounds are part of the creative process,” said Young-Smith. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with TMCF to help us find the next generation of innovators.”

One of the Apple HBCU scholars, Lauren Patterson, previously interned at Apple. She introduced Young-Smith at the event.

“I learned a lot at Apple last summer. It was a great experience working with people from all backgrounds,” said Patterson. “I love to code,” she said. Patterson wants to do anything “code-related” for a career, including being a software engineer.

Here is the full list of the Apple HBCU Scholars and their schools:

Angelica Willis, North Carolina A&T
Bethlehem Zergaw, Alabama A&M
Bushra-Sultan Yagboyaju, Fisk
Chukwuemelie Onwubuya, Allen University
Dakari Franklin, Morehouse
Darnel Williams, Grambling State University
David Nesbeth, Howard University
Deshaun Crawford, Delaware State University
Ebenezer Nkrumah, Fisk University
Grant Pope, Morehouse
Khaliq Satchell, Elizabeth City State University
Lauren Patterson, Hampton University
Malik Jones, Hampton
Maurita Ament, Spelman
Mya Havard, Spelman
Nathaniel Spindler, Fayetteville State University
Naya Coard, Spelman
Nhan Mai, Alabama A&M
Nia Farmer, Howard University
Paris Griffin, Chicago State
Richard Igbiriki, Lincoln U (PA)
Ropafadzo Ropa Denga, Spelman
Sakshyam Dahal, Claflin
Taha Merghani, Jackson State University
Tatyana Matthews, Elizabeth City State University
Timothy Baba, Huston-Tillotson/Prairie View A& M (3-2)
Todd Boone II, Prairie View A & M
Xavier Crutcher, Alabama A&M
Zanetta Tyler, North Carolina A & T
Gaston Seneza, Philander Smith
Paul Hammond, North Carolina A&T

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

Apple Commits More Than $50 million to Diversity Efforts

A flashy new smart watch isn’t all Apple has up its sleeve. The company is donating more than $50 million to organizations that aim to get more women, minorities, and veterans working in tech.

In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Apple’s human resources chief Denise Young Smith said the company is partnering with several non-profit organizations on a multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to increase the pipeline of women, minorities, and veterans in the technology industry—and, of course, at Apple.

“We wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple,” said Young Smith, who took over as its head of HR a little over a year ago. (Before her current role, the longtime Apple exec spent a decade running recruiting for the retail side of the business.) “There is tremendous upside to that and we are dogged about the fact that we can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive.”

Young Smith likes to say that diversity extends race and gender—Apple wants its employee base to also reflect different lifestyles and sexual orientations. (Last fall, CEO Tim Cook publicly acknowledged that he is gay—the first Fortune500 chief executive to do so while holding the title.) But, at least for now, its diversity initiatives are mostly focused on expanding its pipeline of women and minorities.

To that end, the company is partnering with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a non-profit that supports students enrolled in public, historically black colleges and universities (known as HBCUs). These schools include North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, and Grambling State University (where Young Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism in 1978). All told, there are 100 HBCUs across the country—47 of them are considered public—and collectively they graduate nearly 20% of African-Americans who earn undergraduate degrees.

“Historically, other organizations have provided scholarship dollars or focused on whatever area matters most to them,” says Johnny Taylor, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “What differentiates this partnership with Apple is that it hits on everything that we do—it is the most comprehensive program ever offered to an HBCU organization.”

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