In 2013 six students of color from the Bronx Academy of Promise submitted the math app Quest Math for the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. Later that year, along with nine other teams who also won the competition (beating over 350 other teams, and 1,000 schools), the Bronx whiz kids are now starring in two Verizon commercials that are set to air during all of Black History Month!
The students, ages 11 to 13 and members of a Greek mythology club, were first approached in 2012 by a teacher of theirs to enter Verizon’s national competition. They were all excited by the prospect, but held some natural doubts about creating an app. For doing so, they had to learn advanced computer coding which they were only rudimentary at. On top of that, an original gaming idea was necessary. They ended up spending hours after school to get the app made and let’s not forget, these 8th graders also had homework to complete!
But through their dedication, Quest Math came to life. In the app, your math skills are put to the test in order to get to all the Greek-themed levels. The game even provides a tutor! (You already know we’re going to need that!)
The app sounds so cool! Creating apps has become a real passion for a lot young people that are into technology, or at least willing to give a try!
Now, on to the commercial! Verizon used their inspirational path to the contest as the backdrop for #PotentialOfUs. The clips feature some really sweet recollections from the kids who remembered feeling so nervous about whether or not they were capable enough to create an app to now (as winners) feeling encouraged to aim towards a career in bio-engineering or in creating their own PC games.
It’s amazing stories like these that remind us of how amazing you can be by just believing in yourself and staying focused. We know, we know, that’s super sappy, but you know it’s true! These kids are the living proof!
Congratulations to Rokiatou “Rokia” Sissoko, Michael Bonnah, Samuel Owusu, Sherly Quezada, Jhony Flores and King Lewis!
Watch their second commercial below which shows (in a nutshell) how they created Quest Math. The plan is to have the game available soon through Google Play.