Rep. Jerry McNerney has named Ashlyn Roice from Mountain House High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s Ninth District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Crescere, the student said, “I’ve always been a science girl. Ever since I was in elementary school, tinkering with code and engineering kits, I’ve been interested in technology. As I grew older, that interest evolved into a passion for applying technology to social issues, to make this world a better place.
To me, one of the world’s biggest challenges today is the domestic violence epidemic that permeates throughout our society. It cultivates a tremendous amount of disrespect against women, who it most commonly affects. It also threatens the safety of millions every year. No human should ever have to exist in fear.
Back in February, I read a statistic in a TIME news article that domestic violence rates had increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. I felt powerless, sitting in my room, knowing that in that moment people were being abused, traumatized, scarred. I wanted to do something, anything, to help the people that needed it the most. In that instant, my thoughts immediately went to making an app. Apps are available at the touch of a fingertip – they can be used at a moment’s notice in a crisis. I wanted to empower these people who were being broken down everyday, so that they could create better lives for themselves.”
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.