Six Resaca Middle Schoolers win national app award

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POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 6:02pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 10:16am

Those were the reactions of six Resaca Middle School girls in Los Fresnos, who were one of eight teams in the entire country to win a national award and a $20,000 grant for the Verizon innovative app challenge.

"I said, you know, Resaca's got one it takes to get it, to fulfill this challenge and that's how it all got started," said Resaca Middle School sixth grade science teacher Maggie Bolado.

And with a little inspiration from their peer, Andres Salas, a visually impaired student at Resaca, the girls got the ball rolling with the app they call "Hello Navi".

Hello Navi aims to help visually impaired people to navigate through a building using tools like a compass, scanner and optical braille readers.

"We were discussing ideas and we saw that this idea could really be expanded upon and there was so much that we could do with this one idea, so we took it, we expanded it, and we made it our app," said app award recipient Cassandra Baquero.

"I was super duper excited to be the inspiration for Miss Bolado," said Salas.

But the excitement didn't end there. Call it intuition, but some of the award recipients just had a feeling.

"I'm honestly pretty sure that my heart skipped a beat, I couldn't believe that it was us," said Baquero. "I mean, I was so confident that we were gonna win. We were declaring it, we knew we were gonna win."

"My heart was beating so fast. They can even tell you how fast it was going," said award recipient Grecia Cano. "I put their hand right here and it was like (inaudible). And they said Re- and when they said Re, I jumped and I actually hurt my leg a little. And I kept on jumping and I actually started crying and I never cry of happiness."

"When they were saying Resaca, me and the sixth grade girls were like yelling and screaming and then it made me happy because I couldn't believe it that would Resaca would make the app for me," said Salas.

And even though it's just a concept for now, it's intended to be beneficial for those who really need it.

"This particular app, we saw beyond our needs to help to create something that would help someone else." 

Reporting in Los Fresnos, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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