We are ecstatic to share that our College Forward student, Alex Mejia, was named the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 21st district for his app, ArTour. The Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide app competition that is open to middle and high school students. Over 10,000 students competed this year. We followed Alex and his CoFo Coach, Sarah, around Crockett High School learn about his experiences and his app.
The inspiration behind ArTour, an interactive app that provides information on the artwork around Austin, was accessibility. ArTour gives you access to the artist and description of 300+ pieces of Austin art. Although ArTour was built with Austin in mind, Alejandro hopes “to expand it even more, to around the country”. Through the application process, Alex shared this goal and more in front of 430 Texas directors, managers, CIOs and CEOs. Now he has the opportunity to present ArTour to congressmen in the U.S Capitol.
Mejia shared that his love for technology began at a very young age. He recalls that when his sister needed computer assistance he “would always figure it all out” and that’s when tech “grew to be an obsession and an interest” for him. That early love for technology has pushed Mejia towards goals of becoming a “programmer or working in cybersecurity for either Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or Dell.”
Goals like these are encouraged by Mejia’s two mentors, his sister, and his CoFo coach, who “always tell [him] to keep going and never give up”. When asked how College Forward has impacted his experience he shared that, it has impacted him quite dramatically. “I wouldn’t be here right now, with all of these colleges I’ve been admitted to without CoFo”, said Mejia. So far he has been accepted into schools such as St. Edwards University and Ohio State.