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Teen daughter of immigrant develops app to help non-English-speaking parents with childcare, housing

Angelina has been using computer coding and designing apps to try to solve issues she encounters since she was 7 years old.

Teen daughter of immigrant develops app to help non-English-speaking parents with childcare, housing
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Chadwick School

Angelina Tsuboi, at just 16 years old, hopes to change the world—and she just might. She has developed an app that connects teachers and students, as well as an app for the Apple Watch that leads users through CPR by utilizing vibrations to adjust compression and breathing cadence. The Los Angeles-based 11th grader is fluent in 13 programming languages. She has collaborated on the development of an air pollution monitoring device. But all of these pale in comparison to an innovation that Angelina considers most meaningful and dear to her.

Lilac, a multi-language app that connects non-English-speaking parents with childcare, housing and translation services, is the one Angelina really feels solves problems. The app's description reads, "Lilac - an app that houses a variety of up-to-date resources for single mothers and fathers. Single parents can access many resources ranging from housing organizations, grants, job opportunities, and translation support."

Inspired by her mother, a Japanese immigrant and single mother of three who needed a lot of help with translation and accessing resources, Angelina loved working on this app and was proud to announce that it won her the Swift Student Challenge by Apple. "I build apps to solve problems in my community," she tells PEOPLE. “My mom is a single mother and she’s from Japan,” said Angelina to Apple. “When she came here, she had problems with the language, so I made an app where you can find resources such as childcare or housing or grant opportunities, and translators in the community to help you connect with them.” 



 

Angelina regards computer science as a superpower, and with tremendous power comes great responsibility. "It gives me a sense of hope that even with all the things going on in the world, we can always think of solutions by using our creativity," said Angelina.

The teen developer met Apple CEO Tim Cook after winning the 2022 Swift Student Challenge. She remarked that she loves how his goals and ideals are in line with each other. It's clear why Angelina admires Cook. Her objectives match her moral principles too. Angelina has been using computer coding and designing apps to try to solve issues she encounters since she was seven years old. "I feel like I have a really good purpose and meaning in my life, and it's a really good motivating force for good," added Angelina.



 

 

Angelina has spent the last two years learning to fly as an amateur pilot-in-training and has decided to use her tech skills in making this easier too! She released an app called Pilot Fast Track to help prospective pilots get funding for their flight instruction. The 11th-grader just completed her maiden solo flight in a Sport Cruiser for two people. "I was always in awe of things that flew since I was very little—machines, airplanes, rockets," she revealed.

 

The teenager has equally lofty goals for the future, including using engineering and technology along with her creative talent to keep coming up with "pragmatic" answers to the problems that life throws her way. “Life is riddled with problems—everyone is struggling with at least one thing,” she said. “And programming filled me with this sense of hope. It gave me a way to help identify problems that people in my community or my friends were facing and use my skill set to help them.”

Angelina's sense of duty penetrates everything she does and drives her to look for new challenges to take on. “Helping others helps you remain humble and connected to your community,” she said. “It makes the world seem like a nicer place and fills me with a sense of joy—I’m able to at least do one thing that helps relieve the chaos in the world.”

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