Rep. Mike Johnson has named Sophie Chen, an 11th Grader at Caddo Parish Magnet High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Louisiana’s Fourth District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Positivity, the student said, ”In our community, mental health has been a widely stigmatized topic in conversation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many members and students of the community struggle with increased mental health issues, such as anxiety, traumatic stress, and depression as a result of the pandemic’s consequences. From 2019-2021, there was a significant increase in the percentage of people at risk for many mental illnesses. Learning to adjust to the current situation in times like this is difficult, especially when resources and discussion are not easily accessible and many who need help are too afraid to reach out. I wanted to create an app that would allow users in the Northwest Louisiana region to access resources and help more easily, and to educate people about the importance of mental health.”
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.