Fil-Am teen’s allergy-alert app wins congressional contest

/ 05:38 PM December 05, 2016
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Congressman Mark DeSaulnier presents Jasmine Steele with a congressional award for winning an App challenge. CONTRIBUTED

SAN FRANCISCO — A Filipina American high school student in a San Francisco suburb earlier this week beat out other contestants in an congressional app challenge by making one that lets users quickly send allergy information to health care providers.

Jasmine Steele, a student at San Ramon Valley High School, won the 2016 Congressional App Challenge in the Bay Area. The contest is aimed at spurring young people to learn how to code. Jasmine’s grandfather is Lito Demonteverde, a Filipino. Her mother is Julie Demonteverde Steele.

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“I really am proud to have won,” the 16-year-old Jasmine told NBC BayArea. “I guess I made the app because I thought it was a good thing to do.”

With her app, Allergy Blast, will help children, seniors or people with special needs to share critical health and allergy information. She suffers from a severe nut allergy herself.

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“Whenever I would be under someone else’s care, my mom would type off this long list of allergy information,” she explained. “It worked, but it was a big hassle. So, instead of making a paper that they have to print out, they can just create a profile once, save it and resend it anytime.”

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier called the app “life saving.” He told NBC Bay Area of a time when his ex-wife had a severe allergic reaction to bees and said Allergy Blast could have been an tool.

DeSaulnier added that Jasmine was “amazing” student who is “very composed.” Her computer science teacher, Janet Muirragui, agreed.

Her mother, Julie Steele, said that Jasmine loves projects that combine the humanities and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Jasmine would like to attend MIT or UC Berkeley.

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TAGS: 2016 Congressional App Challenge, allergy alert, allergy app, Allergy Blast, app-making contest, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Jasmine Steele, San Ramon Valley High School
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