Medha Gupta, a 16-year-old Northern Virginia student, is celebrating her victory as the winner of Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Congressional App Challenge. The competition is aimed at encouraging high school students to learn how to code by creating their own applications.  

“The reason I got started with the app is I was walking home alone from the bus. I always used to walk home alone and I just felt very unsafe, even though I was walking in my neighborhood and I knew a lot of the people around me, I just felt like there was some key safety feature that I was missing and that is exactly what I wanted to create through this app,”said Medha Gupta, a student.

Sprung from what she says are her own personal experiences, Gupta’s app, called “Safe Travel”, is designed to help people who are commuting alone, feel safer in their commute. The app sets a timer that will count down and automatically send an emergency message to your predetermined contact and let them know you are in trouble if you do not notify the app that you have arrived safely.  

“I feel like there is a huge market for it with college students. Because college students are always traveling from lecture to lecture and from building to building and my brother is a college student so I have seen it,” said Gupta.

Gupta says it is never too early to find solutions to problems in the world. 

“We just need to keep pushing through and try to innovate new ways and solving problems that we are feeling, because if one person is feeling that problem, that means a lot of other people are feeling that problem,” said Gupta.