Using computer science to make the world a better place, one app at a time!

We recently caught up with Ashley Chu, the winner of the Mobile Apps category at Coolest Projects USA, to find out what she’s up to this summer. 

The mobile app that impressed at Coolest Projects USA

If you were at the event, you will definitely have heard about Ashley’s mobile app, Believe: Preventing Sexual Assault. Ashley created the app in response to the many sexual assault stories that she was reading about online and hearing from people in her community.

“I thought that it was a prevalent issue […], I wanted to bring awareness to help people feel more comfortable and informed about what they can do to feel safe.”

The app records live video to help people share their experiences, and it educates users and supports survivors by sharing ways of preventing sexual assault.

Ashley’s impressions of Coolest Projects USA

This was Ashley’s first time attending Coolest Projects. She traveled to the event with her teammate, thanks to a stipend they had received.  

When we asked what her favorite memory of the day was, she shared that she felt inspired by our guest speaker Rachelle Davis, a Senior Software Engineer at Blizzard Entertainment: 

“She reminded me that the path we choose isn’t always straight and that it can change.” 

Ashley also recalled how unifying it was to be in a room full of creators and inventors just like her. Much of her experience starting out as a coder was isolating because she was often the only girl in her classes, but as she said, “being open to new experiences is the best thing to do. Don’t shut yourself down — be optimistic, and you’ll go far.”

The COOLEST things are in store for Ashley

We were thrilled to hear that Ashley is headed to the University of California, Berkeley this fall! In the summer, she will be busy working as a Teaching Assistant, helping girls in high school learn how to code, and she will also be running a week-long summer camp to teach girls in middle school about hardware development, software, and coding. 

As for her prize-winning app, Ashley is working on getting it on the app store for Android and iOS, and is looking to collaborate with other organizations that can help enhance the impact of her product. 

We have no doubt that Ashley will be making the COOLEST projects in college! To find out more about Coolest Projects USA and our recent event, visit the Coolest Projects website!