OPHS student wins 2022 Congressional App Challenge

Rohan Philip creates VetConnect

Rohan Philip, a freshman at Oak Park High School, created an innovative and unique app called VetConnect, an app meant to connect veterans back to society. The app aims to give educational, employment, medical and mental health support. Phillip is a young entrepreneur who saw the need for an app that would reconnect veterans in an unprecedented way. 

Phillip discussed how the app came to life and his motivation for it, which began with the Congressional App Challenge. This annual competition is for students to create an app under the prompt “social good for the nation.”

“At my previous schools in Chicago, we always had Veteran’s Day activities. When the opportunity came to choose a topic, I knew which to pick,” Philip said. 

When first signing into VetConnect, the user is greeted with a home screen consisting of their daily summary, their journal, weekly stories and motivational videos. Next to the home page is a mental health page where users can actively participate in any upcoming events and even find nearby therapists. The reconnect page is a feature that offers educational and employment opportunities and can even click to open another website that consists of nearby educational institutions. Other app features include veteran discounts, sales and news stories. 

“I used various tools that I created like FlutterFlow and Dart that I’ve learned in the past through different summer programs I’ve done,” Philip said. “It took about three weeks to make it during the summer.”

FlutterFlow is an app creator that lets the user create a professional app using original code and drag-and-drop components. The code can be imported in a variety of coding languages, like Dart. FlutterFlow also has a team collaboration platform, but Philip created the entire interface himself.

“I liked creating it but it was definitely harder doing it solo than with a team of people,” Philip said.

Philip first started coding in elementary school when he attended online courses. He also gained insight from watching YouTube videos. With his experiences and accomplishment in the Congressional App Challenge, Philip plans to continue coding.

“I just hope to learn more and create more useful applications for people to use,” said Philip.

The VetConnect app is available for download on the app store.