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St. Thomas More Students Win 2018 Congressional App Challenge

December 6, 2018
Press Release

Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) announced that Elliott Benoit, John Michael Weaver, and John Arceneaux won first place in the 2018 Congressional App Challenge for Louisiana’s 3rd District. The team’s app titled “Vo18” is designed to encourage youth involvement in local elections.

This year’s competition had 18 teams and more than 70 students participate. The winning team was selected by a panel of expert judges including computer science and software professionals from McNeese State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

A celebration honoring all of this year’s participants will be held on December 11 at the UL Lafayette Student Union Ballroom.

Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:

“Congratulations to Elliott, John, and John Michael on a well-designed app. It’s impressive to see how these students identified a problem and used their coding skills to build a solution that improves political participation amongst young people. In our second year of hosting this challenge, we saw it grow from a dozen to more than 70 students. This was a high-level of competition and a tough choice for our judges. 

“I also want to thank Lafayette Parish GEAR UP, New Vision Leadership Foundation of Acadiana, and the staff at CGI for once again partnering with my office on this community initiative.” 


St. Thomas More Principal Kelley Leger added:

"We are so honored and excited to have 3 of our students win the Congressional App Challenge! We encourage all of our students to express their creativity and think outside of the box. Given the right tools and platforms, such as this competition, they can become innovators who may someday change the world."


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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.