December 19, 2016
Press Release

Irvine, CA – Today, Congresswoman Mimi Walters announced the winner of the 2016 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 45th District.  Speaking about the Congressional App Challenge, Congresswoman Walters said:

“Orange County’s students are among the brightest in the country, and I was so impressed by the apps they submitted to the Congressional App Challenge.  This year’s winner is Shalin Shah, a student at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita.  We were impressed by his technical skill and his desire to improve healthcare for people who might otherwise be unable to access it.  Congratulations to Shalin, the other winners, and the honorable mentions! I thank all of the brilliant students who created apps this year and look forward to hosting the Congressional App Challenge again in 2017.”

“Glaucoma is one of the most deadly eye diseases, causing people permanent vision loss,” said Shalin Shah. “Unfortunately, without regular visits to the doctors, there’s no way people can know they have glaucoma, ultimately resulting in unnecessary blindness.  Lumos can help people screen themselves for glaucoma without even the need for doctors and potentially save millions of people from losing vision.  Throughout the months it took me to research and develop Lumos, I have not only explored so many new areas of computer science and biology, but I’ve also been able to contribute to the STEM community in a new way. And that’s what means the most to me.”

Beckman High School’s Sara Du was the first runner-up with her app rePear, which provides support for people struggling with depression.  Sishir Giri, who attends Tustin High School, was awarded third place for his app, Caucus, to help students find more straightforward answers to their questions.  University High School’s Anne Xu earned an honorable mention in the sustainability category for her app, Green Guide, to make it easier for young learners to find information on waste disposal.  Roxanna and Sarina Rabiee won honorable mentions in the “students helping students” category for their app that enables students to create schedules to more effectively manage their time; Roxanna attends University High School, and Sarina is a fourth grader at Turtle Rock Elementary.  Yufeng Zhou of Santa Margarita Catholic High School was awarded an honorable mention in the healthy living category for his app that teaches the basics of exercise and fitness.

The winners were selected by a panel of educators in Orange County who specialize in computer science and innovation. 

Walters represents California’s 45th District and serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Judiciary Committees.