Audrey Ha, an 11th grader at Menlo-Atherton High School, won the 2020 18th Congressional District's App Challenge for a hurricane app she created, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, announced on Dec. 21.
Ha's "SurveyHurricane," uses artificial intelligence to accurately and quickly detect damaged houses on aerial imagery of storm-impacted regions.
"Audrey Ha was inspired to assist the efforts of the federal government to help Americans recover from hurricanes and storms which have been increasing year after year due to climate change," Eshoo said in a statement. "This tool can assist first responders and government organizations in efficiently assessing hurricane damage and planning critical storm relief efforts. I applaud Audrey for using her creative energy and technical expertise to address an immediate problem. I'm proud of Audrey and all the students who entered their app this year to help others during a difficult year while they, too, have had many new challenges."
High school students nationwide participated in the Congressional App Challenge, with winners chosen in each congressional district. The House of Representatives began the contest in 2013. The challenge is designed to promote innovation and engagement in STEM education fields.
An independent panel of expert judges chose Ha's app as the winning submission from Eshoo's district. Winners are invited to the virtual reception and her app will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol and on at house.gov for a year.
Gov. Gavin Newsom's Office of Business and Economic Development announced Monday that the deadline for the first round of applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program has been extended.
The first round has been extended to Jan. 13 at 11:59 p.m. from Jan. 8. Details for the second round will be announced shortly.
On Nov. 30, Newsom and the state Legislature announced that $500 million was available to small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is administered by California's Office of the Small Business Advocate, part of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.
"Inclusive, equitable relief is fundamental to the small business support developed by this administration," CalOSBA Director Isabel Guzman said. "This grant program provides that support through a network of community development financial institutions and community based organizations, ensuring reach to those highly impacted small businesses in disadvantaged communities, underserved small business groups, and industries disproportionately impacted by this pandemic."
The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Grants are not being reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis but all will be reviewed, state officials said Monday.
So many businesses were trying to complete the application online that website traffic was high, and some businesses may have had trouble accessing the application, according to the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.
Adjustments have been made to the website and the deadline extended so that everyone interested can apply, state officials said.
Help with the application process is available in multiple languages and formats. For more information on grant requirements and eligibility, go here.