Sonder Wins Rep. Levin’s (CA-49) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Mike Levin has named a Encinitas student as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in California’s 49th district. San Dieguito Academy High School’s Taylor Lee submitted Sonder, a mental health app that focuses on getting the help you may need or spreading the ideas of self care through personalized activities for the user.

When asked why they were passionate about creating a mental health app the student replied, “The idea of mental illness is not talked about often, especially among teenagers as we cannot find ways to cope or fear judgment from others.” 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.