LIVINGSTON, NJ — Dina Brustein, a senior at Livingston High School, was recently named the winner of the 2019 Congressional App Competition for New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District for her creation of SNAPApp, which helps low-income families get information about the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) in a centralized location.
Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, who represents Brustein’s district, noted that 42-million Americans rely on SNAP, including 818,000 New Jerseyans. According to Sherrill, Brustein’s SNAPApp allows SNAP recipients to check eligibility for SNAP and free school lunches, apply for SNAP, see what items are available to purchase with SNAP and other benefits through the program.
“[SNAP] is our first line of defense to combat hunger and food insecurity,” said Sherrill. “Dina’s app cuts through bureaucratic red tape to make sure those who need these services can find the information they need. I applaud Dina for her commitment to harnessing technology to lift up our community, and I’d like to thank all our students who participated in the competition this year.”
According to Sherrill’s office, the Congressional App Challenge launched in 2014 to encourage students nationwide to code. The Congressional App Challenge was designed to engage student creativity and encourage their participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education fields.
The competition was open to middle school and high school students who live or attend school in NJ-11. Judges scored the submitted apps based on functionality, creativity and user experience.
Judges for the 2019 competition included: Shahram Dabiri, STEM Manager, Picatinny Arsenal, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Armaments Center; Michael Tirrito, Assistant Professor, County College of Morris, Information Technologies Department; and Hongbou Zhou, Assistant Professor, Montclair State University, Department of Computer Science.
The full set of eligibility rules for individual and team entries can be found HERE.
Brustein was also recently honored during a Livingston Board of Education for being named one of 12 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists from Livingston, who also had the opportunity to thank the teacher who has had the biggest impact on each of their lives over the last 12 years. CLICK HERE for the full story.