DRO-PR for Victims of Hurricane Maria


Ruchika Singla

An image of the team’s website is shown above. People can access the group’s apps on Android and Apple devices, as well as on their websites: https://kwhite4532.wixsite.com/mysite and https://devpost.com/software/dro-pr#updates.

Major Leagues Hacking organized a twenty-four hour hackathon for female high schoolers in the Bay Area, hosted at Medalliaa software companyfrom Jan. 27 to 28.

When freshman Kaitlin White’s father suggested that she enter the free contest, White did not know what to expect.

She had not prepared beforehand.

“Honestly I just went, and I brought my laptop and decided to get it over with,” she said.

At the event, White formed a group of three with two other girls, senior Rashi Dembi from American High School and senior Julia Harvey from Hillsdale High School, to build a software project that addressed a real-world issue.

“I got a really, really good group,” White said, “and they were able to actually help me so instead of bumping into each other’s shoulders, we split up the work into three different things. I created a website, and the other girls each created their own app.”

The application, called the Disease Relief Organization – Puerto Rico, or DRO-PR, aims to aid victims affected by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

In order to develop the Android app, iOS app and website, White and her team had to combine different computer programs to create each individual application.

“The website was built using html, css, and javascript. The Android app was developed through MIT App Inventor using java. The IOS app was built to be viewed on web platforms using scripting and behavioral languages as well as a final layer of programming,” according to the DRO-PR website.

Since the event lasted twenty-four hours, White did not sleep; luckily, the event supplied enough caffeine to keep her awake.

“In the building, there was a coffee machine and five different types of tea,” she said. “We lived off caffeine.”

Eventually, when the results were announced, White’s team had not expected to win, as they were simply satisfied to finish the event while having fun.

“Literally, when we won, one of the girls hugged us both right in front of [everyone], and she would not stop hugging us,” she said. “We were all so shocked.”

As first place overall, each team member received a 3D pen, a medal and an opportunity to tour a Facebook campus.

The team members hope to continue spreading awareness about the tragedy in Puerto Rico and eventually expand to other global issues.

“[They] plan on expanding this company so that it may affect not just Puerto Rico, but other nations across the world. Additionally, [they] hope to accept donations through [their] website. In this system, ninety cents from [every] dollar donated will be sent to Puerto Rico while ten cents will be used to maintain [their] website,” according to the DRO-PR website.