A’ayuda wins Rep. Gregorio Sablan’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in North Mariana Islands’ At-Large District

Rep. Gregorio Sablan has named Jaehoon Son, Carson Lin, James Lin, and Dip Roy of Marianas High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in North Mariana Islands’ At-Large District.

When asked what inspired the creation of A’ayuda, the students said, “We remember as a middle school student, making a sentence in a Chamorro to be really difficult, because the only resources that non-speakers got were a couple dictionaries that we could only use in the classroom and sometimes, we had to look up some words online, and most of them were inaccurate or misleading.

Now that we have matured, we think this will be a big problem for the students, because classes and local libraries are already experiencing shortages of these dictionaries, there are very few teachers in the school system teaching the language, and sometimes students are fed with misinformation online. Instead, we could use a dedicated space, driven by the community, to help the next cycle of students to learn about the language.”

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.