Rep. Vern Buchanan has named three Lithia students as the winners of the Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 16th district. Newsome High School’s Joseph Vitko, Nihal Reddy and Jack Crespo submitted BudgetR, an app designed to develop financial responsibility amongst teenagers as they are able to create and track their daily expenses through productive graphs.
When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that focuses on student budgeting the students replied, “Across the country, teenagers face the problem of money management. While many people believe that the financial irresponsibility is caused by spending on impulsive expenses, we believe the root of the problem comes from the lack of knowledge on when, where, and how teenagers spend their money.” They hope to encourage other students to better their communities by using their computer science skills.
Over 10,000 students registered for the 2019 Congressional App Challenge. These students created and submitted 2,177 functioning apps, marking the end of the most successful Congressional App Challenge to date. All told, 304 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 48 states, Puerto Rico, the Mariana Islands, and Washington, D.C.
The CAC is an initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. The non-profit Internet Education Foundation provides the CAC with supplemental staffing and support. In the five years of the Congressional App Challenge, the program has yielded 1134 App Challenges across 48 states. Thousands of functional apps have been created by over 25,000 students, and participant demographics surpass all industry diversity metrics.