Costa Mesa resident Joyce De Quiros, a junior at Newport Harbor High School, has won the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in the 48th District—an annual nationwide competition meant to encourage high school and middle school students’ interests in computer science and coding.
“[Joyce’s] app is a reflection of the exceptional talent of Southern California students, and I commend her and all of this year’s participants for their hard work and creativity,” said U.S. Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) Dec. 30, in a statement announcing this year’s winners. “Maintaining American competitiveness in the world economy starts with building the best workforce in the world, and with students like Joyce dedicating themselves to developing their STEM and computer skills to improve our communities, the future is bright.”
De Quiros won for her app called “Impact,” which connects youths to world events through news and other resources with a call to action to get involved.
According to De Quiros, a study in the 1990s showed 30 percent of teenagers read a newspaper every day which has decreased to 2 percent as of five years ago. She said she found that fewer than half the students she asked at her high school could name at least one current world event.
“These individuals are the future of our society and it’s terrifying to know that most of them don’t really know what is going on in our world,” De Quiros said.
According to De Quiros, app users can find important political, economic, and social news globally or locally, based on the region they choose to view.
The competition is held by members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Winners in each district receive prizes and may have information about their app displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for a year.
The challenge started in 2013, when its now-sponsor, the nonprofit Internet Education Foundation, sought to create an event that would foster appreciation among the country’s youth for computer science and the so-called STEM areas of study, specifically—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.