Since I entered the work world all the way back in high school, I can’t think of many companies that strive for inclusion and diversity among its employees more than Apple. Over a few years, I personally was able to experience the advancements that Apple had put forth to make sure that their company was at the forefront in pushing diversity in the workplace, and beyond. When it comes to talent, I saw Apple seek talent from everywhere, making sure that – regardless of race, age, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation – everyone has the equal opportunity to work and make a change in someone’s life.

EO Tim Cook has, in my mind, pressed hard to incorporate diversity into the world of technology. In an industry that has a workforce that is predominately white males, Apple has worked to rapid shift by hiring a greater variety of people. From the years 2014 to 2015, Apple hired over 2,200 black employees and 2,700 Hispanic employees, 50 percent and 66 percent increases year over year. This equated to the largest increase of employees from underrepresented groups in the industry. I happen to be a member of both groups.

My parents come from outside of San Pedro, Honduras, one of the murder capitals of the world. They journeyed to the United States in search of opportunity – and, fortunately for me and my brothers, they found it. Their integration into America was slow, but successful, with my father serving in the Armed Forces. Now I have my own place in this beautiful melting pot, a testament to the power of inclusion.

Honduras is a small Central American country with a population a little above eight million. The town of San Pedro Sula has the second highest recorded murder rate per capita of any city in the world.

At the retail level, miles away from the corporate campus in Cupertino, I was able to witness Apple’s changes be put in place to make diversity a cornerstone of the ideals that Tim Cook spoke about. The team that I was a part of was put together to balance our strengths and our weaknesses, not only to provide the best service for our customers, but to make everyone feel welcomed, employees included. From the workers that fix your computer, to the workers that meticulously sorts out the thousands of products in the warehouse, Apple employees skills mesh together to run like a completely integrated machine.

As a proponent for equal rights, Tim Cook has been an advocate for equal rights for the LGBT community. Cook had even spoken out about his home state’s laws that would still legally an employer to fire an employee based on their sexual orientation. He has even supported an anti-discrimination bill that would prevent employers from taking actions based on this discrimination.

On June 29th, 2015, 8,000 Apple employees participated in the 43rd Annual Gay Pride Parade. This PRIDE parade stands out among the rest because of the following week’s Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the United States. Apple vastly outnumbered employees from other major tech companies in attendance, and can be seen as a testimony to the people that work at Apple.

From my experience, Apple has always been a different kind of company, a company that stands out of the rest because of the ideals that it fosters. It’s this welcoming spirit that drives this company to create the best, and arguably the most popular devices that people use today. By being able to find the brightest people, who can create ideas and overcome hidden challenges, Apple is able to maintain its status as worldwide technology giant.