KALISPELL - A trio of girls from the Flathead will soon be traveling to Washington D.C. to present an app they created in front of Congress.
Named the “Tech Trio” the team is part of Code Girls United and recently took first place in the state of Montana in the congressional app challenge.
“They have the capability to use technology to solve a problem that they care about," said Code Girls United Executive Director Marianne Smith.
Flathead teenagers Makayla Davenport, Emma Anderson, and Isabelle Ashley will soon be representing the state of Montana on the biggest stage.
“The Tech Trio…I say this every time I talk about them, we will all be working for them one day,” said Smith.
The team is part of Code Girls United, an after-school program that teaches coding and app-creating skills.
“I really wanted to code, and I thought that was such a cool idea that I could make something that could go on a phone or a computer," said Davenport.
The Tech Trio has been working together for the last four years and has created three different apps.
Their most recent app took first place in the State of Montana in the Congressional App Challenge.
“It was about four months of creating the app, so it was kind of like a crash course, but we did a lot of cool things with FOUND, which was really exciting," said Anderson.
The winning app — FOUND — helps combat human trafficking among teens and young adults with a focus on missing Indigenous women.
The app allows users to report a missing person, including where that person went missing on a map database, tools on how to combat human traffickers on social media and more.
“So this is a simulation that kind of runs you through a process that a human trafficker might do to lure you in,” said Anderson.
The app is not live yet, but the Tech Trio hopes to have it available to download on certain mobile devices in the near future.
“We believe that it would definitely help combat the issue of human trafficking,” said Anderson.
Smith is proud of the girls for making a difference in their community.
“Getting to learn about that and taking that into, okay wait a minute we have these skills, how can we create something that can be helpful and could change those communities, and what could we do to help,” said Smith.
The trio hopes their work inspires young girls in Flathead County to follow in their footsteps.
“There’s no reason to be scared, especially now. There’s plenty of other women who are in computer science now even though it’s still definitely a male-dominated field, and I think that computer science is a really exciting future for anyone who wants to pursue that,” said Anderson.
More information on Code Girls United can be found here.