Congressional App Challenge inspires American students of Asian and Pacific Island origin to code

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

As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we also highlight the success of young Asian-American innovators.  A whopping 26% of all 2017 CAC participants self-identified as  Asian or Pacific Islander.

2017 CAC winner from Rep. French Hill's Arkansas district

During the 3rd annual contest, over 4,950 students from 42 states participated in the Challenge. Over twelve hundred young  American students of Asian and Pacific Island heritage to coded apps to compete in the U.S. Congress’ coding Challenge in 2017.

In addition, a number of  Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) members held a Congressional App Challenge in 2017, including CAPAC’s whip, Rep. Ted Lieu of California.

“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 the tech industry’s diversity standards. It foreshadows the strength of the U.S.’s future 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 in early June.

Sample of Asian and Pacific Islander coders

Sample of Asian and Pacific Islander coders who won in the 2017 Congressional App Challenge

Over 4,900 students across the nation signed up to participate in 2017 Congressional App Challenge. Listed below is a sample of the participants along with the link to each app’s demonstration video.


  • AR-02 Rep. French Hill: Anne Li for the app: CarCheck
  • AR-03 Rep. Steve Womack: Arjun Krishna and Arthi Krishna for the app: BookGazers


  • CA-10 Rep. Jeff Denham: Haiying Zeng and Divya Katyal for the app: Homeless Network
  • CA-11 Rep. Mark DeSaulnier: Evan Chen for the app: SugarBPLog
  • CA-13 Rep. Barbara Lee: Vivian Phung, Raymond Huang, Hannah Barr, and Rachel Yang for the app: GNR: Restroom for All
  • CA-17 Rep. Ro Khanna: Kiran Kunigiri, Mihir Waknis, and Sahil Railkar for the app: Recollect
  • CA-18 Rep. Anna G. Eshoo: Olivia Chang for the app: Mere
  • CA-39 Rep. Edward R. Royce: Darien Tsai, Eric Siu, and Kalvin Chang for the app: Aftermath
  • CA-47 Rep. Alan Lowenthal: Shawn Patel for the app: UV Safe – Sunscreen Reminder
  • CA-49 Rep. Darrell Issa: Pranav Patil and Maximus Novak for the app: PentaHex 



  • DE-00 Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester: Shreyas Parab for the app: Telos

District of Columbia


  • GA-05 Rep. John Lewis: Maanit Madan for the app: Chef Cal
  • GA-06 Rep. Karen Handel: Ayush Goyal for the app: VolunteerNow


  • IL-08 Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi: Bhargav Yadavalli, Aviral Saxena, Rahul Gudivada, and Evan Eckels for the app: Grubyr
  • IL-10 Rep. Brad Schneider: Anmol Parande for the app: GoGreen
  • IL-14 Rep. Randy Hultgren: Ishaan Patel and Matthew William for the app: Chem Combiner


  • IA-03 Rep. David Young: Sabarish Mogallapalli, Shriya Magatapalli, Sankalp Yamsani, and Owen Scott for the app: City Recycle Day



  • LA-01 Rep. Steve Scalise : Anna Yue, Cody Armand, Claire Picou, and Charles Blackwell for the app: Cajun Cookout


  • ME-01 Rep. Chellie Pingree: John Wahlig and Pawan Yerramilli for the app: Headstart


  • MD-06 Rep. John K. Delaney: Anna Chen for the app: Dementia Screening
  • MD-08 Rep. Jamie Raskin: William Wang and Kevin Higgs for the app: Keyster


  • MA-02 Rep. James P. McGovern: Shreya Chowdhary and Vanshika Chowdhary for the app: Walk With Me
  • MA-04 Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III: Hannah Cole, Catherine O’Brien, Jillian Stern, and Tiffany Tang for the app: Burst
  • MA-05 Rep. Katherine Clark: Raphael LeDonné for the app: Calculator
  • MA-06 Rep. Seth Moulton: Trisha Ballakur, Srija Nagireddy, Neel Bhalla, Mitali Gupte for the app: Illumination


  • MI-01 Rep. Jack Bergman: Colby Aho, Quinn Aho, and Yash Tiwari for the app: Glitch Golf
  • MI-11 Rep. Dave Trott: Clarissa Xu and Linda Weng for the app: Waddle


  • MN-03 Rep. Erik Paulsen: Jack Hong for the app: Pomo Timer



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

New Jersey

  • NJ-02 Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo: Liakadja Whitesell, Hannah Tamagni, and Nishi Gupta for the app: Eating Green
  • NJ-04 Rep. Christopher H. Smith: Theresa Cardone, Luke Boylan, Adrian Wittmann and Jaspreet Kaur for the app: Lunch Buddy App
  • NJ-06 Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr.: Steven Vorona, Rishi Salwi, Kyle Liu, and Charvi Shah for the app: EmergenServe
  • NJ-07 Rep. Leonard Lance: Ameya Vaidya for the app: DrinkSafe
  • NJ-12 Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman: Sahit Penmatcha for the app: Glimpse

New York

  • NY-03 Rep. Tom Suozzi: Sarah Pethani and Jeffrey Yu for their app, Silent Voice
  • NY-06 Rep. Grace Meng: Jashua Veerasammy and Arun Budhoo for their app, VIVID
  • NY-08 Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: Lucy Vuong, Samantha Zborouvsky, Daniil Kniazkov, and Shawn Bolkhovsky for the app: Skill Swapper
  • NY-12 Rep. Carolyn Maloney: Navid Mamoon for the app: Centre News

North Carolina

  • NC-04 Rep. Davis Price: Aneesha Manocha, Abhijit Gupta, Anja Sheppard, and Vibhu Ambil for the app: Food for Thought
  • NC-12 Rep. Alma S. Adams: Vietfu Tang for the app: Alacrity

Northern Mariana Islands

  • MP-00 Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan: Daniel Villarmero and Chenoa Bunts-Anderson for the app: The Student Companion



  • OK-01 Rep. Jim Bridenstine: Reeya Ramasamy, Khushi Parekh, and Swetha Anand for the app: Swap Donation


  • OR-01 Rep. Suzanne Bonamici: Divya Amirtharaj for the app: myVision


  • PA-06 Rep. Ryan Costello: Surya Ramanathan for the app: Prophexy
  • PA-07 Rep. Patrick Meehan: Kamran Kara-Pabani and Chaoyi Zha for the app: Moneta
  • PA-13 Rep. Brendan Boyle: Nathan Leung for the app: Sweev

Rhode Island

  • RI-01 Rep. David Cicilline: Ariadne Dulchinos and Shiyuan Huang for the app: EarthSmart: The Game



  • VA-06 Rep. Bob Goodlatte: Davis Arnold, Shreyas Gullapalli, Mengyun Lee, and Yifei Zhao for the app: Quizbowl Scoresheet
  • VA-10 Rep. Barbara Comstock: Medha Gupta for the app: Safe Travel
  • VA-11 Rep. Gerald E. Connolly: Ish Sethi, Matthew Trang, Rebecca Woodhouse and Rachel Naidich for the app: Smart Sleeve


A few Asian and Pacific Islander students who participated in 2017 CAC.

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.