School-AR wins Rep. Brad Sherman’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 30th District

Rep. Brad Sherman has named Rex Ordonez from Granada Hills Charter High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 30th District.

When asked what inspired the creation of School-AR, the student said “As a senior in high school, I had a hard time juggling between the various websites I had to apply to such as Cal States, UCs. and private schools on Common App. I decided to create an app that helped me organize and decide what college was best for me. What also inspired me to create School-AR was the issue of affordability of colleges. As a first-generation, my parents had difficulty finding the funds to send my brother and sister to college.  Other individuals have similar situations as me. For instance, Pew Research conducted a study of the affordability of colleges and stated, ‘Narrower majorities say the affordability of a college education (55%)’. Simply put, many people cannot afford the high prices of college and instead result in discouragement, debt, or a second lesser option.”

The 2021 Congressional App Challenge yielded 2,101 fully functioning apps. After eighteen months of disruptions to educational cadences for students everywhere, the Congressional App Challenge came roaring back with 7,174 students registering for this year’s competition. All told, 340 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

The Congressional App Challenge is an official 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. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winning app from their district, and each winning team is invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival. The program is a public-private partnership made possible through funding from Omidyar Network, AWS, theCoderSchool, Facebook, Replit, Accenture, and others.

The 2022 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2022, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.