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Apple profiles three distinguished Swift Student Challenge winners

Three winners from the 2024 Swift Student Challenge

Apple has profiled three of the "Distinguished Winners" of its 2024 Swift Student Challenge, with apps covering care, extreme sports, and breathing exercises.

Apple launched its 2024 Swift Student Challenge in February, and picked 350 winners from the entries in March. Of the 350 winners, 50 are recognized by Apple as Distinguished Winners for outstanding submissions.

The 350 winners won prizes including AirPods Max, a certificate, and a free one-year membership to the developer program. Those deemed Distinguished Winners were awarded an invitation to a three-day in-person experience at Apple Park, including tailored programming at WWDC.

A May 1 profile of three winners revealed the motivations of some of the participants, and what they hope to do in the future.

"This year's winning Swift Student Challenge submissions once again demonstrate the breadth and depth of what is possible when talented young people use coding to make their mark on the world," said Apple VP of Worldwide Developer Relations Susan Prescott."

She continued "We're also incredibly proud to welcome more outstanding student developers than ever before to Apple Park to connect with our teams and each other as they continue to build apps that will no doubt transform our future for the better."

Family inspiration

The trio of profiles starts with Canadian student Elena Galluzzo, who used her time at home with her maternal grandparents to create the Care Capsule app.

"My grandmother is in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease and requires full-time care," explains Galluzzo. "It's also hard on my grandfather because it can be quite lonely — even though he lives with his children and grandchildren, a lot of older people don't."

"Canada has an aging population, so I think it's really important to keep looking into ways we can help people in this field, and coding is one way I can contribute."

Care Capsule is an all-in-one assistant for elderly people, creating a chatbot to analyze interactions with the user for signs of depression. It also tracks medications and helps users remember positive memories.

After graduating with a business degree, Galluzzo plans to publish Care Capsule in the App Store.

Dezmond Blair of Michigan leaned on his mountain biking experience, as well as his family's encouragement to maintain his grades. "They spent a lot of their life trying to make sure that I wouldn't have to struggle the same way they did, and so that's where my inspiration and my passion comes from," he explains.

After starting in the Detroit Apple Developer Academy and learning Swift, he created the app MTB Extreme, which gives users a 360-degree view of trails from the view of a mountain bike.

Jawaher Shaman developed a stutter when her grandfather passed away at the age of five. With help from her father, she overcame the issue, and is now studying at the Apple Developer Academy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Her app, My Child, uses stories and breathing exercises to help train the user to speak without stuttering.

"My father never made me feel different, and I hope my app will do the same for any child or young person who suffers from stuttering," says Shaman. "I don't want them to ever feel like stuttering is a hurdle they can't overcome."