Teen Talk Youth Line wins Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez’s 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Washington’s Third District

Rep. Perez has named Abhay Kadambi, a 12th grader at Union High School, as the winner of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Washington’s Third District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Teen Talk Youth Line, the student said, “During quarantine, I struggled with a lot of issues including depression, social issues and parental issues. At that time, I had called the suicide help line and found that it was lacking in what I needed, a friend, someone who could empathize with me and connect on a level more than what an adult could. My idea was to have a base of volunteers who would provide counseling for other youths in need. I didn’t build the app due to many factors mainly around my mental state, but recently this year I found the youth help line teen talk and decided that I could make significant changes there. I asked the administrators of the group if I could build them an app and they agreed.”

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.