TCA student creates app to help those in crisis

Noah Costello has been fascinated by computer programming since he was a member of the robotics team at Irving Middle School. He’s now a senior at Lincoln Southeast High School and on the info tech pathway at The Career Academy (TCA), where he’s witnessed first hand how he can make a difference by applying what he’s learning in the classroom.

Last summer, Costello had an internship at Don’t Panic Labs, a Lincoln software development firm. He helped develop an app - called MyLNK - that consolidates information from local human services agencies and makes it available for people in crisis who may not always have internet access but do have a mobile phone where the app and its information can be stored.

For example, there are agencies to contact for assistance if you fall behind on your electric or gas bill, or if you need access to food stamps.

“That’s something that really interests me about technology - the impact it can have on people’s lives,” Costello said. “It’s a big motivation to do my best.”

TCA is a joint venture between Lincoln Public Schools and Southeast Community College (SCC). TCA’s goal is to provide academic and real-world experience to juniors and seniors through high school and dual credit courses in 16 different career pathways. Students typically attend TCA for two hours a day during the regular school year while taking their remaining courses at their home high school.

“It’s great to be able to come here and focus on programming for two hours,” Costello said.

SCC instructor Hildy Dickinson has taught Costello since he started at TCA his junior year. She praised him for his independent work habits and the solid academic foundation he brought to her courses.

“They have a really strong programming curriculum at Lincoln Southeast,” she said.

Published: December 7, 2017, Updated: December 11, 2017