Our Teammates

  • Maria Gracia Athalia
  • Saish Pottabathula
  • Jamil Hammoudeh
  • Rob Cheung


When presented with the three themes, social justice, environment, and quality of life, we instantly knew we wanted to build something which would help people and was also related to Covid-19. Covid-19 has affected all of our lives and has definitely affected all of our mental health. The COVID-19 epidemic and the resulting economic downturn have caused confusion in the mental health of many people and created new obstacles for people with mental illness and drug abuse problems. About 4 out of 10 adults in the United States have experienced or are currently experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression during this epidemic. After looking at this data and seeing the substantial increase in mental illnesses by nearly 400%, we wanted to do something about it. That was when PeerUp was born. We decided to make a safe platform to support people with mental illnesses and provide people with the ability to open up to a qualified individual anonymously so they do not feel embarrassed.

What it does

PeerUp’s mission is to provide someone to talk to for people with mental illnesses or for those that need to talk to someone and open up about their struggles. PeerUp can be used by two different kinds of people, the patient, and the volunteer. Account registration is quite easy and only takes a couple of steps for the patient as we wanted to keep the process as simple as possible. However, the volunteer, who the patient talks to, has a more complicated process where they must answer a few questions before they sign up. We also hold an interview with the volunteer to make sure they are qualified for the job and so we can filter out those who have bad intentions. We made an easy-to-navigate website so patients can easily navigate to the chatroom and quickly find a volunteer to talk to.

How we built it

Our first step was planning what we wanted to make. We made a brainstorming document with all the themes and created a list of different ideas we want to make. From there we decided on our website idea. Then we did some research on the topic to get a greater understanding and from there it was time to work on the blueprint. We used Figma to create a blueprint of what we wanted our UI to look like. After most of the blueprint was created we decided to begin work on the actual coding element. We used VS Code to develop the code and wrote it in HTML, CSS, and Javascript. After developing a basis of our code, we moved on to using Qoom and found it really easy to work with. We also implemented an API from Crisp.chat for the online chatting system, so that the patient can chat with a volunteer. At this moment, we will interview and select volunteers by ourselves.

Challenges we ran into

  1. Involving the Crisp.chat API into our website
  2. All of us being in different timezones making it difficult to communicate

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  1. Implementing an API into our website
  2. Incorporating Javascript into HTML and CSS
  3. Creating such a professional-looking website in such a short period of time
  4. We’ve all never met each other before this hackathon and we’re proud of the friendship we've made!

What we learned

  1. How to implement an API into HTML
  2. Advanced our skills with Figma, CSS, HTML, and Javascript
  3. How to share our code and work together efficiently
  4. Teamwork and communication!

What's next for Peer Up

  1. Sending daily mental tips to the patient through email or text message
  2. Making PeerUp into an app
  3. Adding more tools and resources to help patients with their mental health (Maybe a type of game!)


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  10. https://previews.123rf.com/images/goodstudio/goodstudio1903/goodstudio190300165/124599413-set-of-women-enjoying-their-free-time-performing-leisure-activities-and-doing-hobbies-cultivating-ho.jpg
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