“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – that’s the quote that inspired the 23-year-old programmer Patrick McConlogue to make a one-of-a-kind offer to a homeless stranger who was living on the streets of New York City.
McConlogue approached the 37-year-old Leo Grand in late August this year and told him he could give him a 100$ bill now or provide him with lessons in computer programming for two months. Luckily, the homeless Grand chose the second option and now almost 5 months later he is about to launch his first mobile application called “Trees for Cars”. The app itself provides easy, environmentally considered carpool solutions to its users.
The unconventional pair began meeting for an hour a day and conducted the lessons outdoors near Chelsea Piers where Grand liked to sleep. McConlogue provided his new pupil with a used Chromebook personal laptop and a couple of coding text books.
Eventually, as the weather became colder McConlogue received an unexpected support by his boss who was also the founder of Princeton Review, John Katzman. He allowed both of them to work full time on their mobile app and use the equipment in the New York’s office of the search engine company “Noodle”.
After 5 months of hard learning, dedication and a few thousand lines of code, Leo Grand now enjoys the fruit of his labor. The project won thousands of supporters and the app is now live on the app stores as well as for android users. Grand is now inspired that his future is brighter than before and he hopes that thanks to his new skills he will be able to secure a job as a computer programmer.