Rep. Cuellar Announces Winners of 2017 Congressional App Challenge

WASHINGTON—Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today announced the winner of this year’s Congressional App Challenge from La Joya Independent School District, Thelma R. Salinas STEM Early College High School students, Josue Herrera, Nyo Cruz, Elmo Garza, and Marco Perez for designing the Travel Guide app, which helps travelers get around in an unfamiliar area. The app designed by the students focuses on four categories: emergency, food, shops and entertainment.

“I congratulate these four talented high school students from La Joya I.S.D. on designing a useful and functional app to help with travelers in our area. I also thank La Joya I.S.D. Superintendent, Dr. Alda T. Benavides, Thelma R. Salinas STEM Early College High School Principal Dalee Garcia, Mr. Guillermo Flores, Computer Science Instructor, and the parents of these students for encouraging them to develop their talents in coding,” Congressman Cuellar said. “Our future is becoming increasingly depended on technology, and this competition encourages students to learn how to code and find out about careers in STEM. Parents and educators can further encourage high school students to participate and think outside the box and develop apps that change the world. I’m excited to participate and I look forward to seeing the creativity of our students in the 28th Congressional District of Texas.

“It is always exciting when the talents of our students bring us recognition, so this accomplishment is one we are really proud of as our students faced stiff competition,” said Dr. Alda T. Benavides, Superintendent of Schools at La Joya I.S.D. “A special congratulations goes to these four young men, their teacher, principal and their parents for always encouraging the students to do more with technology and to stay in the fore front when it comes to careers in the STEM fields.   They have made us extremely proud!   A special thank you to Representative Henry Cuellar for providing these opportunities for our students.”

Winners of Congressional Henry Cuellar’s (TX-28) 2017 Congressional App Challenge, from left to right: Thelma R. Salinas STEM Early College High School students Josue Herrera, Nyo Cruz, Elmo Garza, and Marco Perez. (Photo courtesy of Thelma R. Salinas STEM Early College High School)

The Travel Guide app, designed by Thelma R. Salinas STEM Early College High School students, and winner of Congressman Cuellar’s 2017 Congressional App Challenge: https://youtu.be/6OJ84IKKloE

The four winning students will be recognized by Congressman Cuellar on Saturday, December 9 at 6:00 p.m. at Embassy Suites Palms Crossing in the Rio Grande Valley, and will attend a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C., in March 2018. Each student will also receive $250 from Amazon. Their app will be displayed on the Congressional App Challenge website and on display in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Special thanks to Mr. Guillermo Flores, Computer Science Dual Enrollment Instructor, for guiding and mentoring these students to achieve success!

About the Congressional App Challenge

The CAC is a congressional initiative, managed by the Internet Education Foundation [IEF], a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In the first 2 years of the program yielded 239 challenges across 33 states. Over 1,150 apps have been created by nearly 4,000 students, and participant demographics surpassed all industry diversity metrics, with young women representing 30% of all competitors. In the first 2 years of the program yielded 239 challenges across 33 states. Over 1,150 apps were created by nearly 4,000 students, and participant demographics surpassed all industry diversity metrics, with young women representing 30% of all competitors. This year, the CAC initiative aims to reach even more constituents.