By November 25, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Local Middle School Students Win Congressional App Challenge

Local Middle School Students Win Congressional App Challenge

Their app “Homeless Network” makes it easier to help the homeless

Two students from Ustach Middle School have won the 2017 Congressional App Challenge for District 10. Eighth graders Divya Katyal and Haiying Zeng developed their app, “Homeless Network,” over the summer while participating in the CodeX Program at Sylvan School District.

“Homeless Network” is aimed to help individuals, homeless shelters, and organizations that serve homeless populations locate homeless individuals, making it easier to direct resources to them. Their app allows users to pin the locations of homeless individuals, share photos via text or social media, and post community service events on a custom map in the app. Divya Katyal, co-creator of the app, says: “The idea is that by using this app, you can go to those locations, help out, or buy supplies.” Emmanuel Escamilla, founder of the CodeX Program says: “Divya and Haiying display the potential that every student has when exposed to computer science. They represent Modesto and the Central Valley well in developing an innovative approach to helping the homeless.”

Katyal and Zeng won the CodeX Program’s inaugural #CODENIGHT pitch competition in August of this year, beating a talented pool of students from across Modesto. They have been recognized for their app by Superintendent Debra Hendricks and the Board of Directors of Sylvan School District; and they will be awarded on Monday, November 20, 2017 by Congressman Jeff Denham for winning this year’s Congressional App Challenge.

About the CodeX Program: CodeX offers college and pre-career exposure within the field of technology to middle school students during the summer. Their high-energy, seven-week summer program teaches students a foundational understanding of computer science. CodeX is supported by a number of partners, such as DataPath, Inc., South Modesto Partnerships, TSM Insurance, and the Harvard Innovation Lab. For more information, visit

Photo: Divya Katyal and Haiying Zeng pitch their app “Homeless Network” and the CodeX Program’s inaugural #CODENIGHT in August.

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Emmanuel Escamilla

The CodeX Program




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