If there’s one app you purchase from the App Store or Google Play, make sure it’s Leo Grand’s app.
Late August, Leo Grand, who’s homeless, was approached by a complete stranger who offered him either $100 or two months of coding.
6 months later, Grand and 23-year-old programmer Patrick McConlogue launched their first app. “Trees for Cars“, an environmentally conscious carpool organizer called— and it went live on the App Store and Google Play for Android users yesterday.
This is going to change my life in a magnificent way,” Grand told Mashable shortly after the launch.
For his part, McConlogue didn’t seem to mind that his initial offer of lessons for one hour a day for two months had stretched to three-and-a-half month journey with a marathon finish.
“It is by far the most rewarding experience of my life,” McConlogue said.
The two began their lessons on Aug. 26. McConlogue provided Grand with a used Chromebook laptop and a few text books. The first two months consisted of outdoor lessons conducted on the city benches near Chelsea Piers, where Grand slept.
After the hour-long lessons, McConlogue would head off to work, while Grand continued to review and practice what he learned until his computer’s battery died. Aided by one of his many friends in the area, Grand recharged the battery overnight at a nearby warehouse.
At the end of the two months, however, Grand and McConlogue realized it was going to take much more work to achieve their goal of launching a mobile app.
With the weather turning colder at the end of October, Grand and McConlogue received an unexpected bit of good fortune. Buoyed by an offer from McConlogue’s boss, Princeton Reviewfounder John Katzman, the duo moved their lessons into the New York City office of Katzman’s new educational search engine company Noodle. Katzman allowed McConlogue to work with Grand on the app full time for the past five weeks.
Yesterday I purchased my first app from the App Store, hopefully my .99 will go towards help finding Grand a home.