As high school students, we struggled with inefficient methods to get our volunteer hours verified and approved by organizers and administrators. One of our members didn’t have a digital system and instead had to carry around a logging sheet where each event was to be physically signed. The rest of our team had a temporary digital system, X2VOL, which wasn’t targeted towards all populations and was revoked. We also didn’t have a common digital platform where we could share our volunteer experiences and quickly learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

With these experiences in mind, we created Reach, in hopes that others could have a more convenient and engaging experience with volunteering.

What it does

Reach is an Android application that allows volunteers to connect to organizations and post about their volunteer experiences. The app includes features to show off the user’s skills, the number of community service hours they did as well as verifying logged hours.


  1. Create an account as a volunteer or organizer
  2. Home Page
    • Scroll through their feed to view various posts
    • Posts include the author, relative post time, image, description, and save option
    • Filter posts by tag
    • Create new post and select tags
    • Click on a post’s author to view their profile
  3. Profile Page
    • View a user’s name, image, email, location, bio, and skills
    • Volunteer profiles also include logged hours, verified hours, and organizations they have volunteered for
    • Edit your own profile, real-time updates
  4. Search Page
    • Type user name to see results
    • Click on result to view user profile
  5. Saved Page
    • View posts that were saved
  6. Logging Page
    • Submit hours including the event name, date, number of hours, and organization
    • Verify hours as an organizer using a 6-digit verification code sent via email
    • View logged hours

How we built it

Our project was built using Android Studio, Java web applications, and a Firebase backend server.

Challenges we ran into

  • Github merge issues
  • Connecting with Firebase and tracking the database while reflecting those changes on the frontend UI
  • Being new to using Android Studio, Firebase, and XML

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Creating a full-stack Android application
  • Developing a UI that is easy to use
  • Completing this project
  • This meme:


What we learned

  • Developing an Android app from scratch
  • Integrating Firebase into a product
  • Working together as a team
  • Designing features, UI components, and database schema

What's next for Reach

  • Develop Reach for iOS
  • More features for interacting with posts -> commenting, liking, tagging users, editing, deleting
  • More features for interacting with users -> following, direct messaging
  • Story/highlight feature for feed and profiles

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