This story is written by Ashvin Maheshwar, a junior at Saratoga High, who started a non-profit "No App Inventor Left Behind" last year to inspire, promote and teach kids to love coding and technology.
November 26th, 2018 was a very exciting day for Desteny and Ashley, middle schoolers who have been attending the Smythe Clubhouse chapter of SiliconValley Boys and Girls Club in San Jose California. They were active participants in an 8 week App Inventor workshop (1 hr a week after school), a curriculum designed and conducted by Ashvin Maheshwar, a Junior at Saratoga High School, Saratoga, California. Every week, the group would diligently spend an hour learning fundamentals of App Inventor with the goal of designing and submitting an app as a group or individually to the App Of The Month challenge. With the guidance and mentorship of Ashvin, the first app submitted in the workshop came from Desteny and Ashley on 11/26/18. A simple, elegant but useful app called SAFE HOUSE that texts parents to let them know that the child is safe with location coordinates at the push of a button. The fulfillment of learning core computer literacy skills and being prepared for a future world of opportunities was exciting for the girls who aspired to go to college. That is exactly why I am doing this, said Ashvin. I want kids to get excited about technology and be able to learn and create something useful that they can share with friends, family and the world. When you see the results it is fulfilling and makes you want to do more, he said. The bigger news though came a month later, when SAFE HOUSE won the App Inventor of the Month award in December 2018, an exciting moment for Ashvin, Desteny and Ashley. Alethia Ruiz, program coordinator for Silicon Valley Boys and Girls Club, who initiated this program with Ashvin at Smythe Clubhouse said Being a first of a kind program, I was anxious and excited at the same time. I am very pleased to see the results thanks to the hard work and motivation of Ashvin and the students. It shows what is possible if you try. I would like to see this be replicated in other locations as well. Adam Hernandez, Director at Smythe Clubhouse added I am impressed at how the kids were able to focus and pay attention in learning a new technology and also apply it to create something. We are excited to continue this program at Smythe.