Young app developer codes for the LGBTQ+ community

Having a safe space is one of the most important things to have, not only growing up but as you navigate through life. Ari Sokolov, a 19-year-old iOS developer, CEO of Trill Project and an LGBTQ+ ally, has created an app to be able to do just that. 

Sokolov’s love of coding started at the age of 8 when she walked into the wrong classroom during summer school.

“I found myself in this computer science class,” Sokolov explained. “I really loved being able to combine my interest in art and computer science.”

Eventually Sokolov was able to get into app development when she was 13. This provided another avenue to create solutions to problems that were out there at such a young age.

Ari Sokolov

In her last year of high school, Sokolov was president of her school’s Girls Who Code club. The club had the opportunity to participate in the Technovation Challenge which challenges high school girls to solve a social problem in the community. 

“At the time, my best friend was bisexual and she had a tough time coming out even though we were living in Los Angeles,” Sokolov stated. “We were amazed at how many other people in the community didn’t have supportive parents or environments to go home to that were LGBTQ+.”

According to a 2020 survey done by the Trevor Project, 40% of LGBTQ+ respondents seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth having seriously considered suicide.

After hearing her friend’s concerns, and with experience at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) for four years, Sokolov developed the Trill Project. 

About WWDC, which is taking place virtually on June 7, is where Apple announces the upcoming capabilities across their software. This event is important for anyone interested in coding because it shows how the new technology directly impacts what’s possible within their app and what customers may be able to do and experience on said app.

“It was a vital experience to be able to be in an environment with other developers,” Sokolov stated.

This app is an anonymous social network that uses various colors instead of using usernames. This allows users to express themselves freely and safely while simultaneously helping others in need. Users are also able to join virtual peer support groups, view a series of articles and content, and participate in Trill Takes which allows users to talk about current events or issues happening in the community. 

For Pride Month, Trill will be partnering with Blue Fever, a journaling app that provides a sense of community for those who may need it, and will offer a Trill journal to celebrate Pride. As for Trill itself, those paired with the content channel will be able to attend special events around Pride.

“Trill’s overarching mission is to create a safespace where everyone feels like they belong and what matters most is having a space where everyone can feel authentic and really feel like themselves.”

For more information or to download the Trill Project, click the embedded link for more details.

About WWDC Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which kicks off virtually on June 7, is where Apple announces the upcoming capabilities across their software. For any company who has an app or individual interested in coding, this day is huge because the new technology directly impacts what’s possible within their app and what customers will be able to do/experience. This moment is a great time to spotlight incredible app founders of all ages and remind people that learning to code can have world-changing impact.

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