Launchpeer, a custom software development agency based in Charleston, SC and Nashville, TN, announced that they are launching Devprentice, an initiative to expose underprivileged youth to tech career paths through mentorship and school partnerships.
Founded in 2014, Launchpeer provides solutions focused on web, mobile and IoT applications. Now the company is aiming to help the community with its new program. Devprentice works by matching up educational institutions and students with experienced professionals in the tech industry to act as mentors. Mentors will work with students one on one or will speak at area educational institutions about technical career fields and how to get there. The students learn about fields they may have never heard of or considered such as Software Development, Business Analysis, Quality Assurance and more. All mentors are volunteers and experienced professionals.
“Charleston has so many incredible tech companies, with people who truly care about the future of underprivileged youth in the area,” says Launchpeer founder Jake Hare. Launchpeer has already begun to garner support for the Devprentice program from area influencers including BoomTown and Qonceptual among others.
After overcoming homeless as a teen, Hare knew he one day wanted to help kids like him succeed. “My dad was a truck driver and my mom was consistently out of work. Growing up and wanting to succeed I thought there were only really three ways out of poverty; pro athlete, doctor or lawyer. I didn’t know any better.” After graduating college he joined the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst where he got his first exposure to tech. “I joined the Army to help pay for grad school, not to help me choose a career, but that’s what happened. The Army exposed me to the world of tech and I realized after being honorably discharged that I could have a great career in IT”.
Devprentice is completely free for students, preferably 14-18 years old. The only requirements are that the student have parental permission and identify themselves as a woman, minority and/or economically disadvantaged.
In addition to Charleston, supported areas of the program in South Carolina include Greenville and Myrtle Beach with more to come.
Hare says he hopes Devprentice spreads far beyond Charleston. “We’ve already begun getting support in Nashville for the program. The time to teach kids about tech career fields is now; the continued success of our area’s economy depends on it”.