Bianca Jain’s app on cancer awareness won the Congressional app challenge in NY’s 17th Congressional District.
Indian-origin ninth-grade student Bianca Jain has won the Congressional App Challenge in the 17th Congressional District in New York. The Briarcliff High School freshman student created an app promoting awareness about cancer causes.
As per data from the National Cancer Institute, 609,820 people were estimated to die of cancer in the U.S. in 2023. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists cancer among the top two leading causes of death in the U.S. However, cancer awareness has continued to remain poor in developing as well as developed countries. Jain was inspired to create the app after discovering that someone known to her had developed the ailment.
“People said it is probably genetic, but I wanted to learn more about it and I realized that only a small percentage of people get cancer because of their genes and that it is mostly because of a lifestyle,” Jain said in a statement posted by her school.
“I wanted to create an app that will help people have more awareness so that maybe they could prevent it,” she added. The app contains a questionnaire that people can answer about their background and lifestyle. Jain wanted to disprove the idea that cancer is influenced by genetics, but much more influenced by a person’s lifestyle.
Jain submitted the research material she put together to her parents who directed her to participate in the congressional app challenge. The app allows people to assess if they fall in the high-risk category.
“It’s a win-win in the sense that she was learning more about preventing cancer, but also at the same time, using that knowledge to create social awareness,” said Jain’s father. “Getting rewarded for it is the cherry on top,” he added.
Rep. Mike Lawler of New York’s 17th Congressional District dropped by at Briarcliff High earlier this month to hand the award to Jain.
“I knew who Congressman Lawler was, but when he came to the class with my parents, I did not understand what was happening,” Jain said. “When he mentioned the Congressional App Challenge, it made more sense. I was really shocked, and I am really happy right now. I didn’t expect this.”
The Consulate General of India’s office in New York shared a congratulatory message for Jain, in a post on X. “Heartiest congratulations to Bianca Jain for winning Congressional App Challenge for New York’s 17th Congressional District,” the post read. Lawler also posted about paying Jain a visit at school, where he extended her an invite to attend the award ceremony scheduled to take place at the New York State Capitol in April 2024.