Twelve George Washington Carver High School students and a teacher are all smiles after receiving $10,000 in funding.
Birmingham Times reports the investment, made possible through their participation in the Altec Innovation Challenge competition, will support the advancement of NeXsim.
The application is geared toward improving the lives of the youth by allowing students to connect with one another through participating in various school activities.
The ideation of NeXsim was a response to a pattern they noticed of gun violence among young Black males. Already four students have lost their lives to gun violence over two years.
“We noticed that [a large percentage] of African American males get in violent crimes and stuff of that sort because they don’t have anything to do, and various political leaders across the country said the same thing,” Ariyan Riggs, a senior at the high school, said to Birmingham Times.
The founders hope NeXsim will provide a gateway for students to find “more things to do,” and deviate from distractions that could put their future in jeopardy.
In addition, the application will create groups for students to engage in activities centered on their commonality. NeXsim will also include a calendar listing events for groups and permit those within the groups to share future events.
One of the group’s founders — high school senior Ashley Pender — has already felt the importance of the application firsthand. Now, she is leaning further into the school’s book and chess clubs.
“[I’ve started] coming out of my shell and being more comfortable and speaking to people…and it’s really just made me gain more confidence in myself,” Pender explained to Birmingham Times.
Looking ahead, the founders will be working on the programming process of NeXsim, as they prepare to launch on the Apple Store by the end of the 2023 spring semester. In addition, Sanders is hoping to include more students in the process as they advance NeXsim.