weSearch Wins Rep. Cisneros’s (CA-39) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Gilbert Cisneros has named three Hacienda Heights students as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in California’s 39th district. Glen A. Wilson High School’s Jeffrey Liu, Thomas Li and Lillian Lee submitted weSearch, an app providing a platform where search parties can be efficiently organized and carried out.

When asked why they were passionate about creating an app for search parties the students replied, “Missing people tear families apart, and bring about immense pain to the missing person’s loved ones. Finding a missing person is very important, and it’s pertinent that we have the right strategies in place to find them. Many of the previous methods were not as effective as they could be, which is why we decided to create this app.” 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.