Easy Budgeting wins Rep. Burgess Owens’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Utah’s Fourth District

Rep. Burgess Owens has named Micaela Madariaga from Hillcrest High as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Utah’s Fourth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Easy Budgeting, the student said, “To first provide a little context, my mother is the treasurer of our school’s local Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) branch. As she’s worked with their budget, I’ve noticed that she’s complained more than once about their current system. The PTSA has a strict set of rules and guidelines for how they are supposed to keep track of their income and expenses, which means that our PTSA has had to resort to using an over-complicated online budgeting site to manage their finances. The other main downside is that this site also charges high yearly fees for its usage. As such, I was inspired to create a program that would be able to fulfill these basic budgeting functions. My goal is to eventually present the app (free of charge) to the local, or possibly even the state PTA, so that they could use it as well. Committees across the entire state that are then experiencing the same struggle would then have access to my Easy Budgeting app. My hope is that through my efforts in addressing this small, yet costly issue, the PTSA can conserve and reallocate their money and time to projects that will actually benefit us as an educational community.”

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.