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Avondale High School student writes an app to help special needs kids and wins Congressional App Challenge

ANJIKA JAIN holding award certificate

Media Contact:
Annette McAvoy, Avondale School District, annette.mcavoy@avondale.k12.mi.us, 248-217-1759

Picture Above:
Anjika Jain displays her certificate award after winning the Congressional App Challenge

Auburn Hills, MI --- November 9, 2018 --- Avondale High School Sophomore, Anjika Jain, has a passion for kids with autism and cognitive impairments. So much so that when she received a classroom assignment to develop a mobile application, she set her sights on creating something to improve the lives of people with special needs. The assignment, to develop an app for the Congressional App Challenge, is a national initiative sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives designed to encourage high school students to explore careers in STEM fields. Anjika’s original app, titled “Bridge the Gap” is fun, engaging and a WINNER! This week, Congressman Dave Trott’s office announced that Anjika had won the Challenge.

Her app’s focus is to provide prompts and positive feedback to users who may forget a social behavior or forget to do a task. Anjika volunteered for four years in the Avondale School District’s Bridge Buddies (for middle schoolers) and Links (for high schoolers) programs. The two programs match students receiving special education services with students in general education for mentoring and role modeling appropriate social behaviors as well as assisting with class work. Through her years working with the programs she noticed that often times her “buddy” or “link” would need a cue or reminder from another person to complete or do a task. When she learned about the Congressional App Challenge, she decided to put her programming skills to work and wrote the mobile app that allows opportunity for self-prompting and independence building.

In addition to writing the app, students were required to create a video showcasing what their app does and how it works. Watch the video below: