When 4-year-old Austin Perine found out some people are homeless, his first instinct was to help.

One day, Austin was watching an animal show with his dad, T.J., and they saw a mom panda abandon her baby. Concerned, Austin asked what would happen to the cub. T.J. told him it would be homeless for a while, but it would eventually figure out how to live on its own.

Austin asked his dad if people ever become homeless. That question sparked a conversation about homelessness, a trip to see where homeless people live, and one of the sweetest outreach projects you'll ever see.

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Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best β€” through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit β€” a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming β€” Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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