Traverse City Students Win National Award for App to Help Homeless

More than 10,000 students registered for the 2019 Congressional App Challenge, but only two from Traverse City’s St Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School were chosen to represent Northern Michigan.

Eighth graders Rylee Duffing and Tucker Krumm were concerned for the homeless in Traverse City.

Duffing says, “Just seeing everybody less fortunate needing food or clothes gave me the idea to make an app.”

Duffing worked hours over the summer and into the school year coding her app called MI Food. The app helps people find clothes, food and shelter in Traverse City.

Duffing demonstrated how it works, saying, “You click this and it will take you to this page and it gives you your options of clothes, food or a place to sleep. So if you’re looking for a place to sleep, you just hit the ‘place to sleep’ button and it gives you the names of the places.”

Their teacher, Carol Johnson, says, “It doesn’t just teach programming, it teaches leadership, it teaches the ability to problem solve, so it’s a whole bunch of stuff that goes with it.”

All of their work paid off with an award from Congressman Jack Bergman, making their project the Michigan’s 1st District 2019 Congressional App Winner.

“It’s a really big accomplishment for us and especially our school since we’re representing them and the whole entire district of Michigan,” Duffing says.

These two students  noticed a need, helping their community become a better place.

“For them to pick that app—and I didn’t even have to say would you do this app, they came up with it all on their own—I mean, that’s amazing,” Johnson says.

The app is not on the app store yet, but after some revisions, they hope to make it public.

Categories: Michigan This Morning