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NLU’s Dhupelia at White House to Judge Educational App Contest Competition was part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative


Aarti Dhupelia, NLU’s VP of Strategic Initiatives, poses with the White House in the background. She participated there as a judge in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative Career App Challenge.

Aarti Dhupelia, NLU’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate at the White House as a judge in the Reach Higher Career App Challenge, a competition launched by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education.

The Reach Higher Career App Challenge is a prize competition for mobile app developers, educators, and data mavens to create apps designed to help middle school and high school students navigate education and career pathways.

“The Challenge has created an opportunity for true innovation and advancement in the types of career development tools available to students starting from a young age,” Dhupelia said.

As the career landscape evolves, and with high school counselors in short supply in many parts of the country, middle and high school students face a dearth of information  about possible careers. The Challenge seeks mobile app solutions that include integrated tools to assess students’ skills and interests and offer users accessible information on occupations, education options, credentials, and career-seeking skills through an individualized user experience.

Dhupelia was one of five judges who narrowed all the submissions to five finalists, who each won $25,000.  She also judged at the hands-on Demo Day of the finalist apps on July 7 at the White House. The winning app, whose developers will receive an extra $100,000 in prize money, will soon be announced.

“Success starts with dreaming big and believing that anything is possible,” said Dhupelia. “Early career planning helps young people set their sights high and pushes them to start thinking through the steps they need to take to achieve their dreams.”