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Modesto High School seniors launch app to connect volunteers and senior citizens

Having won U.S. Representative Josh Harder's 2021 Congressional App Challenge, the two teens created an app to bridge communication between seniors and volunteers.

TURLOCK, Calif. — Two Modesto high school seniors recently created an app that connects seniors with volunteers. 

And that creation led to an award from U.S. Representative and Turlock resident Josh Harder. 

Modesto High School seniors Divya Katyal and Rana Banankhah created the 'Community Connections' app, which was recently recognized as the 2021 Congressional App Challenge winner. The competition was launched by Harder's office.

The two said the app is designed to bridge communication gaps between isolated seniors and folks who would like to volunteer a human connection with them.

“During this COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most severely impacted groups has also been our society’s most precious group, our elders," the teens wrote in their initial application to Harder's competition. "Not only are they much more susceptible to having severe side-effects of this virus, but they have also been the most isolated over the course of this quarantine.”

After downloading the app, seniors can upload information, including specific needs, to an online timeline so volunteers can reach out and get in touch with them.

“The young people in the Valley never cease to amaze me,” Harder said in a press release. “I’m incredibly excited to announce that Divya and Rana have won our 2021 Congressional App Challenge for designing an app that connects our seniors in need with volunteers willing to lend their time.”

WATCH MORE: California Homeless | Seniors on the streets: More older people in Sacramento are on the brink

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