Mental Health Coach Wins Rep. Hastings’s (FL-20) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Alcee Hastings has named a Fort Lauderdale student as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 20th district. Atlantic Technical High School’s Berline Civil submitted Mental Health Coach, an app that serves as a mental health coach. 

When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that supports mental health the student replied,“Researchers have found statistics to prove that the suicide rates amongst teens ages 15-19 have been increasing drastically since the start of the 21st century. Suicide is noted as the second leading cause of death in America, especially in teens. I wanted to provide teens with an easily accessible resource, that could help with their mental health.” The student hopes 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.