A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Transform Education Kentucky announces major investment in Interapt Skills for High School program

Transform Education Kentucky (TEK) on Tuesday announced a major commitment to their new Interapt Skills for High School Program from Louisville entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist Brook T. Smith.

TEK partnered with Interapt — an innovation and software development firm — to launch a new training program that will teach high school seniors iOS and Android coding skills that will set them on a path for a career in technology.

Interapt Skills for High School is a unique new project, bringing together innovators from high technology, philanthropy, and the non-profit sector. Students from three school districts: Jefferson County, Eminence Independent, and Shelby County were invited to apply for the program which begins in Jan. of 2018. Brook Smith sees a unique opportunity to address multiple challenges in one project.

“Louisville companies cannot find enough qualified tech workers to fill hundreds of open positions,” Smith said. “And four‑year college may not be the best option for many high school seniors. I see Interapt Skills for High School as a great way to engage students and provide highly‑qualified staff for in‑demand positions right here in Louisville. I’m proud to be an early investor.”

Brook T. Smith

“Nonprofit organizations have the expertise to be great partners, yet lack the resources to execute quickly and effectively,” said Barbara Bellissimo, CEO of Transform Education Kentucky. “Brook recognizes this and is willing to support our ground‑breaking work in its formative stages. His experience as a successful entrepreneur and private sector investor gives Brook a unique ability to recognize and develop game‑changing projects. He invests financial resources as well as his own time and expertise so that projects do not lose their innovative edge.”

Smith has committed a donation of $500,000 to support the first cohort of Interapt Skills for High School. He will also invest his own time and expertise with TEK and Interapt to recruit additional support and ensure the success of the program.

“As you can imagine, my wife, Pam (a former teacher), and I have had many conversations about investing in the Interapt Skills for High School program given the magnitude of this commitment,” added Smith. “Our hope is that businesses across Louisville and the Commonwealth will take note, step up, and hire these soon‑to‑be highly qualified young men and women.”

To learn more about Interapt Skills for High School, visit www.InteraptSkills.com.

From Transform Education Kentucky

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