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City High Schoolers Learn To Develop Their Own Apps

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A new program started in part by the New York City Economic Development Corporation is leading local high school students to think the best mobile apps may be the ones they create themselves. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.

Mobile apps for students are now started to be made by students, from scratch. That is the focus of NYC Generation Tech, a new program and competition for high schoolers started by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in partnership with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

Students from low-income areas have learned skills to help them maybe become the next generation of leaders in the business tech sector.

"All of these teams have built a usable app, a prototype put into the context of a business plan," says Terry Bowman of NFTE. "They've chosen themes I'm sure any high school students would find familiar, stuff like how to become more organized, how to connect with friends around specific topics, how to know what to read, to best prepare you for college, things like that."

The 28 students got help with their apps from more than two dozen top tech and venture capital firms, including companies like Microsoft, Google and Facebook.

Some programs like these attract students with a healthy dose of programming skills, but NYC Generation Tech also deals with students with no experience with apps beyond using them.

"I think this program really gave me a boost because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but now I know I want to program when I get to college," says 11th grader Altaf Lakhi.

"I want to make apps," says 10th grader Treasure Goddard.

All of the apps have the potential to become available for downloads in apps stores, if students want to pursue that. The winning team received $5,000 to help pay for college.

For information on programs in your area that help teach students science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), check out www.ConnectAMillionMinds.com, run by NY1's parent company, Time Warner Cable.

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