The people of Aleppo, Syria, are living in a nightmare right now.

Innocent men, women, and children have been caught in the cross fire between the Syrian army, rebels refusing to back down from a tyrant president, and reckless Russian drone strikes. In the eastern part of the city — once a thriving, metropolis home to millions — 50,000 civilians are bunkered up amongst the ruins, living at-risk of being killed in a moment's notice.

On the ground accounts coming out of Aleppo are horrifying. The city has been grappling with unrelenting violence for months. But the UN reports that, in just the past few days, Russian and Syrian forces — which have gained control of nearly all of the city — have slaughtered dozens of civilians. Messages of despair from inside the city walls have gone viral around the world, even as their authors remain helplessly trapped in a besieged city with "nowhere safe to run." Despite a cease-fire on Dec. 13, 2016, ongoing violence reportedly continued the following day.

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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 — 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 — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — 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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