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Hometown Heroes – Wyandotte’s Youngest Innovators Needs Your Help

Wyandotte’s Wilson Middle School State Champs

By Linda Francetich

Meet the winners of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge:  Alec Brovont, Ashton Donaldson, Finn Gomez, Reilly Gomez, McKenzie Harris and Shelby Harris.

What makes these Wyandotte students so special?  Out of a nationwide contest of approximately 90 schools, they were awarded “Best in State” for an app contest sponsored by Verizon.  The app, called “POP” aka “Protect Our Parks,” was their concept and has created a serious buzz.  Their accomplishment has earned each student a computer tablet PLUS a $5,000 grant for the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education program.

If the students get enough votes for their app, Verizon will develop the app AND award Wilson Middle School an additional $15,000 grant towards their STEM program.  More information will be detailed below on how you can help these students with one simple text.

Their teachers, who mentored the project, were Jenna Purdu and Gregory Brovont.  The students would meet before school in Mr. Brovont’s classroom and work on the project.  Mrs. Purdu was heavily involved in the film aspect of the project.  Together, with the students who came up with the app concept to protect Wyandotte’s parks, the group created a project that beat out 90 other schools.

An important part of this significant project is that no grades or credits were assigned for the efforts of the students.  This was done voluntarily on their own time.  With no guarantee of placing, yet alone winning, the students were excited to put in the effort , simply because they wanted to.  Reilly Gomez commented, “I’d like to try it again next year with this same group.”


Discover Downriver applauds their efforts and invites the Downriver community to support OUR community rising stars.  It’s easy and quick!  Here are the instructions:

  1. Via your cell phone, TEXT: POP2
  2. To this number: 22333
  3. And you’re done!

Wilson Middle School is bursting with pride.  “The amount of work that they put into this project, and all of it on their own time, is amazing.  What makes this even better, they are all 6th and 7th graders.  It makes me feel good when students take pride in doing things for their school, not just the personal satisfaction,“ says Principal Jason Krajewski.

Congratulations for a job well done to the students, their mentors, and  the Wilson Middle School STEM program.


The team’s submission can be seen at

To view the Wilson Middle School team’s commercial for its submission

Additional local article by  The News-Herald’s Jim Kasuba

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