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I went skydiving twice — in two genders. Here's what it taught me.

This transgender woman is on a mission to repeat all the things she did before coming out.

I am living as a woman the second time I prepare to leap out of an airplane, 7,000 feet above Florida, the world filled with the drone of the plane like the rumble of some metal giant’s stomach.

The plane has one seat for the pilot, and my back is pressed against it. I’m facing the man I will be strapped to when we step into the space beneath the clouds. I am not as nervous this time as he checks the harness.

The door of the plane cranks open, and it’s like the rush of a storm has entered the plane. I imagine I am being pulled out of the plane as my partner tells me to crawl toward the open door. Instinctively, I begin grabbing at the controls because I want something to hold on to, until I realize that the pilot is yelling at me over the twin roar of wind and plane to let go.

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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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