Software-Developing Club Takes Top Prize at Do Good Challenge

A new student club that creates software to solve real-world problems took the top prize at the University of Maryland’s 12th annual Do Good Challenge. The App Dev Club (ADC), which helps computer science majors hone their skills while supporting socially impactful corporate initiatives, took home the $5,000 prize in the project category, along with the $2,500 Audience Choice Award.

App Dev Club presentation at Do Good Challenge
Photo by Dylan Singleton

“As we have seen, time and time again, the Terp community is passionate and wants to make a difference, not at some distant point in time, but today,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “The teams that are competing tonight in the Do Good Challenge are part of that movement. They are part of how the University of Maryland will continue to transcend our campus and make the world a better, safer and more equitable place.”

Matthewos Gashaw of ADC told the crowd that computer science students, especially those from underrepresented and underprivileged backgrounds, have few opportunities to get industry experience without an internship. “That makes it challenging for them to catch up to their peers, land competitive jobs and have the technological backbone to act upon their innovative ideas. … On the other hand, there’s a complete lack of resources and talent dedicated to socially impactful projects. App Dev comes in to bridge the gap."

He outlined the 350-member group’s work with Children’s National Hospital and with Amazon’s initiative to expand broadband access globally, and its ambitions for better equipment, more educational resources, transportation for app demonstrations and starting a new club at the University of South Florida. The goal, he said, is "generating more student-led solutions to pressing problems.”

Project track judges included Michelle Gilliard, corporate social responsibility leader, Americas at IBM Americas; Ian Gordon, vice president, community impact and engagement at United Way of the National Capital Area; and Cedric Nwafor ’18, chief executive officer of Roots Africa and 2021 Do Good Challenge winner.

This year’s program included three opportunities for audience members to text-to-vote for their favorite Showcase group, finalist and—for the first time—a Do Good Challenge alum team.

Adapted from an article written by Jenny Cox

About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 8,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and nine interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $250 million.