WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) announced that David Calais and Deonta Trim of Carencro High School, Jeremiah Willis of Acadiana High School, and Marjorie Hooper of David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy won first place in the Congressional App Challenge. The team’s app titled “Rescue Me” helps connect volunteers with victims in the wake of a natural disaster.

More than a dozen students participated in this year’s competition, which was open to all K-12 students in Louisiana’s third district.

“All of the students who participated in this year’s challenge showcased impressive computer skills as well as creativity. The high level of participation is a strong testament to the success of science and technology programs at many of our local schools,” said Congressman Higgins. “I want to congratulate David, Deonta, Jeremiah, and Marjorie for their winning app. In South Louisiana, we’ve seen first-hand with civilian rescue efforts how social media and technology can aid disaster recovery. Their app really embodies those principles and has the potential to make a significant impact on bringing communities together after a disaster.”

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 Waitr’s software development team.

“I also want to thank the Lafayette Parish School System’s GEAR UP program, New Vision Leadership Foundation of Acadiana, and the staff at CGI for partnering with my office,” said Congressman Higgins. “Their guidance and outreach was a tremendous help to the students, and we’re looking forward to growing this initiative even further next year.”

Congressman Higgins will recognize the participating students and their families during a reception at CGI’s Lafayette Center on December 18.

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.