Latina Students Create Mobile App to Help Teens Deal with Anxiety & Depression


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The winning team from Tri-Tech created an app designed to help teens deal with anxiety and depression. Source:

A team of five students, including three Latinas, from Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick, Wash., won an award for a mental health app they designed called Safe&Sound.

The app offers information for teens dealing with anxiety and/or depression, as well as daily stress management techniques. The app also provides push notifications that include positive quotes, and a journal with a voice-to-speech feature that allows users to speak their thoughts and have them appear on the app.

The students received a “Best in Nation” award from the Verizon Foundation’s third-annual “Innovative App Challenge,” which encourages student interest in science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM). Over 1,000 entries were accepted this year, and eight teams of middle school and high school students across the country were selected with this honor.

Team members Genesis Saucedo, Stephanie Lopez and Amanda Arellano all have parents that were born in Mexico. The girls are bilingual and understand firsthand about the stigma of depression in Hispanic communities and how this app can help them.

“My father still lives in Mexico and my family lives paycheck to paycheck,” said 15-year old Senior, Genesis Saucedo. “I was very emotional and cried when we won.”

For winning the challenge, the Tri-Cities Skills Center team:

  • Won $20,000 in grants for its program and the five students received a Samsung Galaxy Note tablet;
  • Will work with App Inventor Master Trainers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to make Safe&Sound a reality in March;
  • Will be flown to Dallas in June to present their app at the 2015 National Technology Student Association Conference.

“This is the first time I ever won anything, and I’ve never flown on a plane, so the trip to Dallas is very exciting to me,” Saucedo said.

Read more about this year’s National Verizon Innovative App Challenge winners.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latino kids have obesity (compared to 11.7% of white kids)

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