Dec 17, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) announced today that David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy students Brendan Duhon, Weston Simon, Jaydon Huval, and Cailey Bianchini are the overall winners of the 2019 Congressional App Challenge for Louisiana’s 3rd District. The team’s app titled “Happybytes” is designed to help with suicide prevention and connect individuals experiencing depression with local resources.

In coordination with Congressman Higgins’ office, CGI, UL-Lafayette Informatics Research Institute, CajunCodeFest, and WAITR will host a project showcase and awards ceremony on Wednesday, December 18 at the LITE Center in Lafayette. Students will demonstrate their apps and receive recognition for their efforts. For more information, click here.

The “Happybytes” app will be featured in an exhibition at the U.S. Capitol. The students are also invited to attend the annual “House of Code” reception in Washington D.C., which features winning teams from across the country. That event is scheduled for Spring 2020.

This year’s competition saw 11 teams with a total of 40 students participating. The winning team was selected by a panel of expert judges including computer science and software professionals from McNeese State University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:

“I want to congratulate Brendan, Weston, Jaydon, and Cailey on their winning app. They used their coding abilities to connect individuals with suicide prevention and other local mental health resources. This is a real problem that we face as a society, and the Happybytes app helps address that issue. The students challenged themselves with advanced coding methods, and their hard work paid off.

“I would also like to thank our community partners for their continued support of the Congressional App Challenge. This is a team effort.”

About the Congressional App Challenge

The U.S. House of Representatives officially launched the Challenge in 2015 to help inspire innovation and learning in computer science and coding. The Challenge is a nationwide effort that allows students to compete against their peers by creating an application or “app” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices. Student teams compete against each other by congressional district, and the winning apps are showcased at the U.S. Capitol each year.

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