HopeHorizon wins Rep. Rick Larsen’s 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Washington’s Second District

Rep. Larsen has named Sydney Vo and Azul Rangel of Mariner High School as the winners of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Washington’s Second District.

When asked what inspired the creation of HopeHorizon, the students said, “Our initiative is born from a profound sense of purpose, inspired by the challenging realities we’ve witnessed within our own community. As students at a school with a significant low-income enrollment, we’ve had first hand exposure to the disparities that exist, from limited access to resources to a reduced level of academic engagement. We’ve seen the impact of homelessness, poverty, and systemic inequalities on individuals’ lives, as well as the critical need for comprehensive solutions to address these issues. 

Our mission is fueled by the belief that every individual deserves the opportunity to lead a life of dignity and fulfillment. We understand the significance of combating homelessness, promoting well-being, and addressing the multifaceted challenges our community faces. By providing accessible resources and support, we aim to empower those in need and break the cycle of hardship that has affected so many. 


Our commitment to this cause is not just a matter of empathy but also a call to action. It’s a testament to our dedication to fostering equality, uplifting the well-being of our community, and creating a more inclusive and compassionate society.”

This year’s Challenge saw an unprecedented level of participation, with 374 Members of the House of Representatives hosting competitions, surpassing the previous record of 340. A remarkable 11,334 students from across the United States competed in this year’s Challenge, marking an impressive increase of nearly 1,000 participants compared to the previous record set in 2019. The enthusiasm and creativity these students display is a testament to the growing interest in technology and signal a bright future for American innovation. The surge of ingenuity continued with a whopping 3,645 original applications flooding in, nearly a thousand more than the previous year’s high. This remarkable growth showcases the exceptional talent and innovation within our nation’s youth.

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. This resounding show of bipartisan support emphasizes the critical importance of STEM education in today’s rapidly evolving world. 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 2024 Congressional App Challenge will launch in May of 2024, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.