In 2013 six students of color from the Bronx Academy of Promise submitted the math app Quest Math for the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. Along with nine other teams that also won the competition later that year (beating over 350 other teams, and 1,000 schools), the whiz kids will are now starring in two Verizon commercials that are set to air during all of Black History Month!
The students, ages 11 to 13 and members of their Greek mythology club, were first approached by a teacher in 2012 to enter Verizon’s national. They were all excited by the prospect, but had some natural doubts about creating the app. For doing so, they had to learn advanced computer coding which they were only rudimentary at. On top of that, they had to also create an original gaming idea. They ended up spending hours after school to get the app made and let’s not forget, these 8th graders also had homework to complete!
But through their dedication, Quest Math came to life. In the app, your math skills are put to test in order to get to all the Greek-themed levels. The game even provides a tutor! (You already know we’re going to need that!)
Their app sounds so cool! Creating apps have become real passions for young people that are into technology and it is impressive to see how the their interests translate into the scientific and tech fields while still catering to the ADD generation.
Now, on to the commercial! Verizon used their inspirational path to the contest as the backdrop for #PotentialOfUs. The clips feature some really sweet recollections from the kids who remembered feeling so nervous about whether or not they were capable enough to create an app to now (as winners) feeling encouraged to aim towards a career in bio-engineering or in creating their own PC games.
It’s amazing stories like these that really remind us of how amazing you can be if you just believe in yourself and stay focused. We know, we know, that’s super sappy, but you know it’s true! And these kids are the living proof!
Congratulations to Rokiatou “Rokia” Sissoko, Michael Bonnah, Samuel Owusu, Sherly Quezada, Jhony Flores and King Lewis!
Watch their second commercial below which shows (in a nutshell) how they created Quest Math. The plan is to have the game available through Google Play.