Inspiration

The inspiration for our project comes from the recent troubles in the Rochester City School District and the lack of funding for teachers and extracurricular activities. Since the RCSD realized they were millions of dollars above budget, the administration has been cutting funding for certain things that are necessary for students. We tried to think of a way that our university and others around us could combat the cuts and still uplift students in our community. We decided that creating an easy to use system that enables public schools to request volunteers for certain events and then fill the volunteering spots with qualified and interested college students from the area.

What it does

This web application enables willing and qualified college students to volunteer at local public schools to help with after school events, club meetings, and general mentorship opportunities. In studies, it has been identified that good role models and mentors lead to a better chance at success, so we decided to enable both parties to get in contact with each other to uplift our students in the Rochester community. After a public school requests a certain type of event, our system looks through our registered students and universities for qualified students and then matches these students with the school events. We the people, hope to place solid role models and student-teachers in public schools around us to show students their possibilities and give them connections to achieve their goals.

How we built it

We used two different repositories, one for the backend and one for the frontend. The backend was written in node.js with express and the frontend was written with react. The data is stored in mongodb and everything is currently being hosted locally. https://github.com/multiojuice/we-the-people https://github.com/multiojuice/wtp-backend

Challenges we ran into

We ran into challenges with not having enough time to really polish some of the components of the app that we wish we could, specifically the security. We also had various issues with creating the start of our apps, since node.js and code transpilation can be confusing and always updating. At one point, we had to re-work a good portion of our database schema after noticing new use cases and query identifiers.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Up to this point, our team of two completed all of the following:

  • A complete Sign in/Sign out system.
  • The ability to create all three types of accounts.
  • The ability to create events.
  • The ability to automatically match qualified, interested and nearby students to participate in events.
  • After matching, all parties involved are notified via the events section of our website when logged in.

All of these changes are persistent and stored in mongodb and are correctly showing up on our frontend.

What we learned

We learned a ton about working in a team and in tech, but I think we actually may have learned more about problems local to Rochester and the lower education students going to school here. It was extremely frustrating to see all the cuts to staff in Rochester this year and the lack of STEM, art, and after school programs in the RCSD schools, especially when there are outstanding universities around every corner in Rochester.

Tech wise, we learned about animations on webpages, creating react applications, quickly tying in a backend system, and designing a proper data schema, so that all of the data is consistent.

What's next for We The People

In the coming hours, all of our MVP features will have been accomplished and will be up for show through a video in our README on https://github.com/multiojuice/we-the-people.

After our MVP is complete, we hope to reach out to public schools in the area to gauge interest in participating in a project like this. Next, we will reach out to the appropriate people at RIT to see how feasible it would be to get RIT to support us. Lastly, contact groups on campus like the honors program; organizations like these require a minimum amount of volunteering hours, support from students in these groups would kickstart our efforts in an enormous way. We hope to show that impacting local students is one of the best ways to actually make a long lasting difference in a community.

Past the outreach, we would also need to make a more secure login system, polish up the app, add contact information for everyone, and most likely hook in emails and calendar APIs.

In the coming hours, all of our MVP features will have been accomplished and will be up for show through a video in our README on https://github.com/multiojuice/we-the-people.

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