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“Apple Fried Apple” video goes viral for alumnus Darian Holt and his sixth-grade science class

What started as an adorable mispronunciation of a Greek Letter Organization has turned into a viral sensation for Darian Holt ’16 and his sixth-grade science class.

When explaining to his students that he is part of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Holt’s students at Smilow Prep Middle School in Jackson, Mississippi, mistook the fraternity’s name as Apple Fried Apple.

“I thought it was hilarious,” said Holt. “It was even funnier as they continued to call me Mr. Apple Fried Apple as if they were sure that’s what I said.”

Calling the students “The Seven Apple Seeds of Apple Fried Apple,” Holt gave the students line names, created an Apple Fried Apple song, and recorded them singing it in class. The video has received attention from “Good Morning America,” several Greek Organization social media pages, and WJTV News Channel 12.

Although a fun experience, Holt made sure that his students understood the true meaning of his Greek Organization and how it encourages unity and community service. He recognized the moment as a learning opportunity for his students.

“I realized that this joke could really be a teaching moment for them. I wanted to create an opportunity for them to get a feel for unity and how it would feel being a part of an organization.”

The moment also gave Holt an opportunity to shed light on HBCU culture.

“This movement adds to my vision of spreading the word about HBCUs because not only am I a graduate of an HBCU, but also I educate black and brown students that I would love to see attend HBCUs. My goal is to advocate for these students and help them secure their future by educating them on HBCU culture. I also hope that my influence will encourage them to join a Greek Letter Organization.”

The videos also caught the attention of companies such as Popeyes and Snapple, who plan to send gifts to Holt's scholars. Holt is amazed by the impact and attention the videos have gotten, and he hopes they end up on the radar of even bigger companies.

“The impact of the videos has been mind-blowing. It’s amazing to see how much love the students are receiving. I hope that other big companies such as Apple reach out to help by sending the scholars MacBooks or any other school supplies so they can be set up for success. Even potential scholarship opportunities would be great. Whatever can help them secure their future, I would love to assist in making it happen.”

It gives Holt joy seeing his students have fun while learning. Moments like these make being an educator worthwhile for him.

“Besides being at Alcorn, this has been one of my most joyful moments. This is my first year as an educator, so I was nervous teaching from home during the pandemic and wondered how virtual learning would work. It took me a while to get adjusted, but I was able to make class joyful for them. Doing face-to-face interactions allowed me to create the joy that they missed while being at home most of the school year. I have a wonderful group of sixth graders, and they have made this year amazing.”