Our Commitment

volunTEEN is an Android and iOS app that helps students find nearby volunteer opportunities aligned with their interests, track volunteer hours, and connect with volunteers and local organizations.

Our Inspiration

Our dedicated team was profoundly inspired by social networks such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram, fusing together aspects from all apps to create volunTEEN. From Linkedin, we have the profile aspect where one can make posts, see others’ credentials, and connect with other teens. Drawing from Facebook is the ability to “join” an opportunity as well as create one, seeing as Facebook has been commonly used to organize large scale events. Lastly, Instagram served as our inspiration for a teen-friendly platform with modern, easy-to-use UI and appealing design. We were also inspired by the prevalent social issue of engaging our new generation in the power of civic engagement. Some teens are excited to serve their community, but struggle to find opportunities while others have never been able to experience the undeniable joy of public service. We need to make our teens more passionate and involved in their community’s well-being for more positive small-scale and large-scale changes.

What We Learned

Across the entire experience, our team learned so much. In terms of technical knowledge, we all gained familiarity with the development platform Flutter and helped one another out in the debugging process. We learned the crucial value of having reliable, well-planned wireframes before building the app as we encountered a few errors along the way for not having fully thought out a feature. In terms of our issue, we gained immense passion for promoting advocacy and community service in the teen demographic. As a cohesive team, we learned how to efficiently collaborate remotely with people who have various skill sets to contribute.

Building Steps

To build our project, we went through a series of steps. First, we brainstormed our ideas. We wanted to make a unique product that also addressed an important social issue. After a team session, we came up with the idea for volunTEEN and began drafting out wireframes to show the pages and basic features for our app. Secondly, we assigned roles for everyone so we could all pitch in. Each person took point on an aspect of volunTEEN whether it was technical or presentation-related. Third of all, we created a basic prototype of the app with all the features that we discussed. This was a very simple structure that just included all the barebone components as well as the Firebase database linkage. Lastly, we worked on the UI/UX and design of the app through color themes and spacing. We also worked together to make a logo that would represent volunTEEN’s values. On top of this, we had to do some last-minute troubleshooting with a few technical errors, but were able to get all these challenges resolved.

Challenges and Difficulties

Speaking of challenges, our team faced quite a few throughout MetroHacks. One of our earliest challenges was coming up with the idea. We went through lists upon lists of potential apps before settling on volunTEEN because of the unique, yet pressing problem it addressed. We settled on this idea after brainstorming its feasibility given our limited time as well as its relevance to modern-day matters. We also initially had some trouble figuring out how to share code through Github, but quickly figured it out thanks to team members with previous experience in git pushing and pulling. As previously mentioned, our team had a lot of debugging to do throughout the course of volunTEEN’s development. We had a few errors with certain parts not appearing or pages not functioning altogether. However, through steady communication, our team managed to push past all these difficulties and overcome the technical challenges we faced. On top of that, there were a few portions of volunTEEN we forgot to plan out in our planning stage, such as the profile page. This set us back a little as we had to map out how this page would fit into pre-existing pages and draw up a new wireframe for it.

Conclusion

All in all, our team had a blast making volunTEEN and being able to take advantage of our strengths and weaknesses to make such a revolutionary, functional app! As for what’s next, we plan to pilot test it in communities and partner with local nonprofits to try hosting a few events on our platform!

Resources

Developers
All of the members on this team are younger than 18 years old (< 18):

Share this project:

Updates

posted an update

11//22/21 - 9:57 AM CST: Updated final markdown page for Devpost and added a final commit to GitHub with full code, installation steps, and updated documentation. All images, videos, writing, and files are officially uploaded. Added developer age group in the Developer section of Devpost (younger than 18 age group) . The project should be finalized and I don't think we need to make any more revisions.

Log in or sign up for Devpost to join the conversation.