Homeless Hacker Leo Grand Launches His First iPhone App |

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Just four months ago, Leo Grand was homeless and hopeless in New York City, without any employable skills. But today, the 37-year-old man has an eco-friendly app that runs on both Apple and Android devices. How did he change his life so drastically in four months time? When a stranger offered Grand either $100 cash or two months of coding lessons, Grand opted for the lessons, despite what that cash could mean for a man living on the streets.

The generosity of that stranger, whose name is Patrick McConlogue, provided Grand with the opportunity to turn his life around and learn a valuable skill. And now all of his learning and hard work has come to fruition—in the form of 3,621 lines of code and a fully completed app.

So what did Grand create with his newly acquired skills? His app is an environmentally friendly program called “Trees for Cars” that helps users organize carpools. Grand’s app arrived in both the Apple App Store and Google Play on Tuesday just after 12:00 a.m. ET.

On the night of the big launch, Grand and his teacher anxiously awaited midnight when the app would go live. The pair sat together in a New York Office, anticipating the moment they had been working towards for months. “This is going to change my life in a magnificent way,” said Grand.

Lessons first began back on August 26th, when McConlogue followed through on his offer and provided his student with several helpful textbooks and a used Chromebook laptop.  Although the original offer had been a single hour of lessons for two months, the project turned into almost four months of effort. But 23-year-old McConlogue has no regrets and says that working with Grand was “by far the most rewarding experience of [his] life.”

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