FOX 32 NEWS - For some kids, getting to school is easy. You just hop on the bus and go.
But for some students in Chicago, it means changing buses and walking through tough neighborhoods.
They call themselves scholars with drive. Four CPS students are winners of a one day challenge to design a mobile app or website that addresses a community issue. Their winning project is a ride sharing program designed to combat unemployment and transportation issues.
"It's like a personal car coming to your personal destination every day and dropping off same place you need to be.”
"In Chicago, our attendance rate is not so good. And this will increase that and do something positive for the community."
These are issues that students from Chicago Vocational Career Academy have to deal with every day. That’s why they came up with this idea geared toward CPS students just like themselves.
For many, the trip to school involves a couple of bus rides, maybe even three and a lot of walking, sometimes even in some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
"We have a student here that was shot, she's okay now, but it can prevent that, it can help us to know and help our parents be less worried."
"You don't have to wait to get picked up and it's quick and on time."
The one day competition was sponsored by the non-profit organization Lumity. It provides free four year curriculums in science, technology, engineering and math; also known as STEM.
Lumity collaborates with schools and large corporations to introduce kids in underserved communities to opportunities they may have never considered or even realized exists.
Douglas Maclin is the school principal.
"Now they know they can be software engineers, they can design apps and they know from their interaction with these companies, they can make their own industry,” Maclin said.
The app is still in the early stages, but has already gotten some interest from one of the major ride sharing companies.
It’s an idea born of necessity and one they hope will help not only themselves, but other students facing economic disadvantages and the threat of violence while trying to get an education.
"The experience was just so innovative. I just had a good time coming up with the app and I just hope it progresses and goes somewhere."