Jonecia KeelsBy Amanda Rowell

Jonecia Keels, a junior at Spelman College, has an interesting claim to fame.  She is the creator of iDex, a popular application for iPhones that has fans of the video game Pokémon raving.

Keels was twice chosen to attend Apple Computer’s highly selective Cocoa Camp.  Applicants to the camp undergo a challenging admissions process, including the submission of a resume, a statement of intent explaining how they intend to utilize the knowledge they obtain at the camp, a personal coding project, and a coding sample.

Once the attendees are admitted, Apple flies them to its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., where they spend a week learning to utilize the Cocoa programming language to build iPhone applications.  Of the hundreds of students that apply, Keels was one of only 25 that made the cut.

Keels used the knowledge she obtained at Cocoa Camp to build iDex, an application that acts as a companion Pokémon, containing information about the abilities of hundreds of characters in the game.  Since its release, iDex has made Apple’s Top 25 List of more than 2,600 reference applications.  It is estimated that the application is downloaded more than 1,500 times a day around the world from the iTunes App Store.

Keels is in the process of earning a dual degree in engineering in hopes of founding a computer software company that will create applications for mobile devices.  She is also co-captain of the college’s award-winning robotics team, Spelbots.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.