UniversalHealth wins Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Pennsylvania’s First District
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick has named Srinithi Krishnamoorthy from Central Bucks High School South as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Pennsylvania’s First District.
When asked what inspired the creation of UniversalHealth, the student said, “Despite getting vaccinated, diligently wearing masks, and taking vitamins, I was diagnosed with COVID-19 this past summer. Suddenly, I was one of the statistics that plagued every news channel. The pandemic that had already changed my lifestyle became increasingly real. Beyond the physical strain of the disease, the toll it took on my mental health made every morning a struggle. Every day, I grew more worn out, a feeling that persisted long after the two weeks I spent in my hospital room. With virtually no real human contact, I found myself in isolation, feeling lonelier than ever, despite constant Facetime calls from my family. My doctors and nurses, however, were my pillars of support, always reassuring when they checked my oxygen and temperature in consistent intervals. With the help and support of my family and hospital support staff, I thankfully recovered quickly. I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone, which inspired me to turn it into something that would help others. Thus, I designed an app to connect people with a support group of experts, no matter their current battle. COVID-19 changed my perspective on privilege. I wanted to use my subset of skills to help others that were facing similar situations, as I was this summer in a country where English is not the primary language, to feel like they had the ability to talk to a professional and get a second opinion. Although I know this will not be able to substitute the healthcare system that we have in place yet, I wanted to provide the opportunity for those who are not as privileged as I am by simulating an online environment that gave them resources to make them feel heard and helped. I hope that one day this could be the future of health and medicine.”
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.