Congressional App Challenge Commemorates International Women’s Day 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – The 2017 Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is helping to address the gender gap in tech by inspiring youth to learn to code and create original apps.

The 2017 CAC reached a new plateau with 33% of its participants being women and girls. During the 3rd annual contest, over 4,950 students from 42 states participated in the Challenge. Over 1,600 young women and girls were inspired by Congress’ coding challenge in 2017.

Cumulatively, the CAC has inspired 2,700 young women and girls to code over three years.


“One of my goals was to increase the CAC footprint to ensure that all underrepresented groups had a chance to participate,” states CAC Director Rachel Decoste. “I am proud that the App Challenge continues to surpass tech industry standards. It foreshadows the strength of the future of the U.S. workforce”. In collaboration with willing Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, the Challenge has become a valuable manifestation of Congress’ commitment to building the domestic pipeline of future tech leaders. Melissa Medina, the CAC’s Congressional Director, adds “This Challenge innovates the way Congress engages with technology. We work to connect today’s Congress with tomorrow’s coders and innovators. The fact that the App Challenge is naturally bipartisan demonstrates tech’s ability to unite Congress behind a common goal of spreading STEM and Computer Science opportunities across the country.”

The Congressional App Challenge winners get recognition from their Member of Congress, as well as various prizes, and their app is displayed on Capitol Hill. The 2018 edition of the Congressional App Challenge will launch this summer.

Sample of female coders who participated in 2017 Congressional App Challenge

Over 4,900 students across the nation signed up to participate in 2017 Congressional App Challenge. Listed below are some of the winners  (organized alphabetically by state) along with the link to each app’s demonstration video.



  • AR-01 Rep. Rick Crawford: Isabella Guerrero, Anastacia Guerrero, Caroline Ward, and Logan Turner for the app: ROA Calculator
  • AR-02 Rep. French Hill: Anne Li for the app: CarCheck
  • AR-04 Rep. Bruce Westerman: Kenzie Glass and Kristie Glass for the app: bookworm


  • CA-05 Rep. Mike Thompson: Isabella Dadsib and Arielle Adriano for the app: Memory Suit
  • CA-10 Rep. Jeff Denham: Haiying Zeng and Divya Katyal for the app: Homeless Network
  • CA-14 Rep. Jackie Speier: Erika Pilpre for the app: Observe!!
  • CA-18 Rep. Anna G. Eshoo: Olivia Chang for the app: Mere
  • CA-23 Rep. Kevin McCarthy: Diana Balderas for the app: Food Distribution
  • CA-26 Rep. Julia Brownley: Sophia Taylor and Abigail Creech for the app: ConnectMe
  • CA-29 Rep. Tony Cardenas: Shirley Janet for the app: On Time


  • CT-02 Rep. Joe Courtney: Gianna Guzzo, Marissa Guzzo, and Alexandra Smith for the app: Feel Good
  • CT-03 Rep. Rosa DeLauro: Tatiana Martin and Gianna Edwards for the app: Pass Tracker


  • FL-03 Rep. Ted S. Yoho: Andrea Sanchez for the app: iVolunteer
  • FL-13 Rep. Charlie Crist: Katie McGilvery for the app: DownTown


  • IL-05 Rep. Mike Quigley: Ava Hollis for the app: React
  • IL-18 Rep. Darin LaHood: Ruby Hirshmann, Mariah Cooley, Shaelyn Johnson, and Montreal Thomas for the app: Peoria Riverfront Museum App



  • MD-02 Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger: Aaliyah Philippe-Auguste, Re’Niya Avery, Saniya Holmes, and Adaora Umeadi for the app: Health Care 4 U
  • MD-04 Rep. Anthony Brown: Amber Melton, Alejandra Rodriguez-Perez, Casey Morgan Hanks, and Alexandra O’Keeffe for the app: Job Application Companion
  • MD-06 Rep. John K. Delaney: Anna Chen for the app: Dementia Screening


  • MA-04 Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III: Hannah Cole, Catherine O’Brien, Jillian Stern, and Tiffany Tang for the app: Burst


  • MI-07 Rep. Tim Walberg: Madison Burlett, Rose LaForest, Cate Start, and Alex Steinaway for the app: M.A.D. Planner
  • MI-11 Rep. Dave Trott: Clarissa Xu and Linda Weng for the app: Waddle


  • MN-06 Rep. Tom Emmer: Erika Mork, Ella Mork, Jessica Tober, and Samantha Pieper for the app: Time Resurrection


  • NV-01 Rep. Dina Titus: Tharani Gunaseelan, Tiffany Zhan, Grace Kurian, and Clara Cin for the app: NVolunteer

New Hampshire

  • NH-01 Rep. Carol Shea-Porter: Meera Kurup for the app: ALZPoetry

New Jersey

  • NJ-07 Rep. Leonard Lance: Ameya Vaidya for the app: DrinkSafe
  • NJ-10 Rep. Donald Payne: Zoe Lynch for the app: GetGiveNJ

New Mexico

New York

  • Y-11 Rep. Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.: Kathleen Coen for the app: SteerClear

North Carolina

  • NC-01 Rep. G.K. Butterfield: Cheyenne Sutton, My’kia Sanders and Trinity Sourlark for the app: StyleUrTalent
  • NC-13 Rep. Ted Budd: Grace Ciambrone for the app: Bookbench


  • WA-03 Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler: Amelia Madarang, Kristen Stilin, and Nathan Chen for the app: Duck and Cover

The CAC is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, managed by the Internet Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Challenge also owes gratitude to Representatives Bob Goodlatte and Anna G. Eshoo, co-chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus, who requested and supported the creation of the CAC. Additionally, thank you to Representatives Illeana Ros-Lehtinen and Tim Ryan for serving as 2017 App Challenge Co-chairs.