A team of middle school girls had the moment of their lives when President Obama told the story of how they built an app to help their blind friend navigate his way through their school.

The team of Latina girls and their visually impaired classmate, Andres Salas, from tiny Los Fresnos, TX, presented their Hello Navi app to the President at the White House Science Fair on May 27th. Andres inspired the idea, but what makes the app really special is that it will soon be available for all visually impaired students — and free of charge.

The girls created the app for the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, an annual challenge for teams of middle and high school students to design an app that solves a problem in their community or school. The Hello Navi team was one of eight winning teams that received best in nation honors, a grant to support STEM programs at their schools, and the opportunity to work with the MIT Media Lab to turn their concept into reality. This month the finished Hello Navi app will be available for download on the Google Play store to help the visually impaired.

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