SAY: Stories About You Rep. Olson’s (TX-22) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Pete Olson has named two Sugar Land students as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 22nd district. Stephen F. Austin High School’s Tracy Wei and Raina Parikh submitted SAY: Stories About You, a disaster relief app targeted towards aiding children.

When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that focuses on aiding children affected by natural disasters the students replied, “We experienced first-hand the damage of a natural disaster, and though we were fortunate enough to still have our homes, we still experienced the fear and confusion that Harvey had brought. We could see how deeply Harvey had impacted our community and other communities. Even one and a half years later, many people were still recovering from the storm, and many children have PTSD, anxiety, stress, and more from Harvey.” 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.