Rep. Sharice David’s has named four Overland Park students as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Kansas’s 3rd district. Blue Valley High School’s Andrew Kampschroeder, Bradley Lichtmann, Ike Summerlin and Samuel DeZube submitted Safe Space, an app that provides texting and calling hotlines to those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, sexual assault, drug abuse, or other forms of mental illness.
When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that allows for a safe space the students replied, “This past February, I lost one of my best friends to suicide. After a long period of grief, I began to feel riddled with guilt. All I wanted to know was what I could have done to save him, and that was when we came up with the concepts for SafeSpace.” 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.