Rep. Val Demings has named Rishi Kandagadla, an 11th Grader at Lake Buena Vista High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 10th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Foodfreedom, the student said, ”My dad has a failed startup for a food-related app. He was trying to create a way to make custom food from local chefs, and they would post on his app, and he would ask consumers to sign up for custom food. He put a lot of effort into it, but it failed due to funding issues. I thought I could re-use some of the code he built and take his help in developing this app. I have also seen some students in my school feel insecure about food and wanted to do something about it. After many discussions with my parents during middle school and early high school, I created some basic screens and developed this app which is still in the initial stages. When COVID hit and I felt there was even more of a need for this kind of app.”
The Congressional App Challenge smashed previous participation records in 2022. All told, 9,011 students registered for this year’s competition – creating 2,707 fully-functioning apps for 335 Members of Congress across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia. This year’s competition set the record for most student registrations, most apps submitted, most apps per district submitted, and most districts receiving over 20 apps. The wildly successful competition continues to impress upon House Members the importance of computer science education and the need to develop a pipeline of diverse, domestic STEM talent.
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, Rise, theCoderSchool, Apple, and others.
The 2023 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2023, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.