Tell Their Stories wins Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Ohio’s 16th District

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez has named Maria Tracy, an 11th Grader at Saint Joseph Academy, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Ohio’s 16th District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Tell Their Stories, the student said, ”I had two primary inspirations for creating this app. First, I am very passionate about the issue of period poverty. Here in the United States, we are lucky that the majority of women can afford period products (but there are still many who cannot). However, in developing countries, the percentages of women who cannot afford these supplies are much higher. I created this platform to not only increase awareness of the issue of period poverty as a whole, but also to help users understand what women in other countries are experiencing. Secondly, I wanted to provide users with ways that they can take action on this issue in their own communities. I have found that many people my age, such as high school students, are very passionate about social issues like period poverty, but they are unsure of what they can do to help. I wanted to provide ideas specifically targeted to this demographic, such as projects that students can conduct in a school setting.”

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.