Charleston, South Carolina software development company Launchpeer is investing in community youth by offering Devprentice, a mentoring program that will introduce underprivileged young people to tech careers by matching them with mentors and school-based programs.
Launchpeer founder Jake Hare has a personal interest in Devprentice. Homeless when he was a teenager, he vowed to someday help children in the same position to find ways to succeed.
"My dad was a truck driver and my mom was consistently out of work," Hare said. "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.”
Hare beat the odds by graduating from college and becoming an intelligence analyst after enlisting in the U.S. Army.
“I joined the Army to help pay for grad school, not to help me choose a career, but that’s what happened," he said. "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."
Hare noted that Charleston is home to many tech companies, "with people who truly care about the future of underprivileged youth in the area.”
Backing for Devprentice has come from area businesses Qonceptual and Boomtown. Hare hopes to one day expand the program outside Charleston. “We’ve already begun getting support in Nashville for the program," he said.
Devprentice participants will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with their mentors, who will be tech industry professionals. The professionals will also conduct group educational sessions for the program's youth.
For more information about Devprentice, call 888-877-8351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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