We were thinking of the ways of giving back to community. And, as undergraduates majoring in engineering and/or computer science, we don't often have time to physically go and find opportunities for community service or mentorship. We thought that it would be so awesome if we could make a difference in somebody else's life, someone less fortunate or less experienced than us, by anonymously (and impartially) providing them with advice.

What it does:

Our app randomly matches up the "mentors" and the "mentees" and allows them to chat, in a safe space, anonymously. Mentors would be experienced, busy, yet compassionate people with an interest in helping others. Mentees could be anyone, from a misunderstood teenager to someone who abuses drugs and needs to talk to someone who will not judge. Anonymity would allow to escape the stigma some perceive when they admit that they need help, emotional help and sympathy or understanding and guidance from another human being. In addition, we are using the Indico API to analyze the text in the conversation and track the progress of the conversation by analyzing the effect of certain keywords, as well as the sentiment of the person expressing the words. The Indico API would also allow to control the flow of the conversation by monitoring the sentiment of the conversation -- shutting off either an abusive mentor or mentee. We chose using SupportKit service for instant messaging ability.

Stack and technologies we used:

We went MEAN, in addition utilizing SupportKit, Indico API, with Mongoose for MongoDB.

How we built it:

This was mainly a learning experience for all of us: for example, I had never worked with databases before, and yet chose to handle the backend and the textual analysis on the server-side.

Challenges we ran into:

We learned that working with new frameworks could be sometimes frustrating. There were also some limitations around SupportKit's structure.

Accomplishments that we are proud of:

Building something out of nothing!

What we learned:

Many things related to full-stack web development -- from how to create MongoDB databases using Mongoose to attaching an already existing service, such as SupportKit using AngularJS.

What's next for Glass Half Full:

We should make it prettier and get rid of bugs.

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