ServiceSPOTTER App: Free iOS Mobile App Connecting Homeless and Low-Income Communities with Services wins Rep. Pete Sessions’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 17th District

Rep. Pete Sessions has named Arushi Sharma from James Bowie High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 17th District.

When asked what inspired the creation of ServiceSPOTTER App: Free iOS Mobile App Connecting Homeless and Low-Income Communities with Services, the student said, “I have been living in Austin, Texas for the last 13 years. Currently, there are thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness in Austin. With tough economic conditions due to COVID, the low-income community has increased significantly in the last few years. I have been volunteering regularly at the Homeless Breakfasts since 2018. During my interactions with several members of the community, I learned about the lack of awareness of various community resources designed to assist the community in Austin.”

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.