MeGlz wins Rep. Nanette Barragan’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 44th District

Rep. Nanette Barragan has named Kevin Sohn of Northwood High School, Issacc Chavez of Dominguez High School, and Gabriel Sianez of Dominguez High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 44th District.

When asked what inspired the creation of MeGlz, the students said, “Quarantine exposed the need for a community. The soccer practices, the band rehearsals, the lunchtime club meetings, all of these daily and seemingly dull meetings were the birthing grounds of our passions. It was in those meetings that we began our journeys, where we learned how to do a basic drill or hold a drumstick in a certain way. We could take baby steps without shame because all of us were taking baby steps together, slowly progressing towards attaining our respective goals. And not just slowly, but consistently.

With quarantine, those daily communal meetings were taken away, replaced with the facade of social media. Social media, for all of its benefits, can sometimes be depressing to look at. It’s filled with supermodels and impossibilities, with monumental goals already achieved and posing for the camera. There is little sincerity, none of the authenticity needed for someone looking to improve themselves.

We created MeGlz because we wanted to create an environment where everything was a work in progress. It wouldn’t be about taking a photo at the top of a mountain, but making a checkmark in your notebook on the way up. The inspiration was people sharing their baby steps, their small and infinitely important achievements, with a community that would unashamedly take those baby steps with them.”

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.