Being high school students, we know how hard it is to find opportunities. Especially in an area such as the Bay Area. We wanted to make an impact on society but we found it hard to come across such opportunities to do so. We felt like we needed to help us and millions of other students across the country to find volunteering opportunities so they can help people and make an impact. We are starting out in a small scale, using Cupertino as a target demographic. Cupertino has plenty of individuals looking for various different types of opportunities, a platform like VolunteerX will help ease the process of finding opportunities in the world. We know that Cupertino has plenty of people who are very willing to help, but cannot find the proper opportunities to lend a hand. We fell into the same category.
What it does
We decided to make a platform that makes this easier. It brings the opportunities to the people directly. People can make an account to submit their event or individual opportunity to the site and other users can see the opportunities around them and contact the organizer with ease. The portal also creates a way to manage and track the volunteering hours and other logistics involved with volunteering. The portal simplifies the way a user is able to communicate with the organizer.
How we built it
We began by creating a login page with proper security to access a personalized portal. We used PHP and MySQL to integrate the login page into our portal. The PHP form will take the submitted info from the user (username & password) and verify them with a table in a secured database. Once the information is verified, it will mark the user's session as opened and will allow the user to access their personalized portal.
Challenges we ran into
We initially had issues with integrating MySQL and our PHP scripts, this was overcome by reading documentation and the guidance of helpful mentors. To begin with, our UI was rather buggy and lacking. We built upon this for several hours, adding aesthetically pleasing aspects to our design and creating an overall better user experience. But in order to work on the UI, we needed to finish our backend portion of the project, and we ran into other issues. One of the issues was being able to properly analyze the data we accumulated from the user activity to form the logistics. We theorized some complex algorithms to process the data and create valuable graphs and other beneficial features for the user.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were proud of our seamless integration with multiple development platforms to create a simplified user experience.
What we learned
We learned how to connect MySQL and PHP and properly analyze data the user has inputted. We learned how to keep the data that is sent secure and maintain fast speeds.
What's next for VolunteerX
We have to try to reach out to users and create a solid user base by appealing to a bigger set of demographics. We must also add extra layers of security and establish a solid interface with stability.