Colonel By Secondary School Student Builds App to Promote COVID-19 Safety

Colonel By Secondary School Student Builds App to Promote COVID-19 Safety
Posted on 12/15/2020
Colonel By Secondary School Student Builds App to Promote COVID-19 Safety

Ryan RodrigsWhen the COVID-19 pandemic led to lockdowns across our community in the spring, Ryan Rodrigs, a student at Colonel By Secondary School, decided to harness technology to help people stay safe and stay informed.


“My first instinct as an innovator is always to solve problems,” says Ryan. “It really started with the realization of a problem in my community and then brainstorming an effective solution that could save lives.”


Ryan launched the YUNAL COVID-19 app, which provides location-customized alerts to follow safety guidelines, as well as resources and updates related to COVID-19. The intial app was developed and tested within two weeks, and Ryan continued to refine it until its release in May.


Now in Grade 11, Ryan has begun the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme and plans to include the app in his Creativity, Activity, Service project. Working on the app has provided him with an opportunity to hone a variety of skills, including communication skills.


“I often talk with many experts and developers from all over the world regarding solutions and the implications of my app,” says Ryan. “The constant communication has had drastic improvements in my day-to-day communication skills and I found that I am able to better express my ideas to others.”


This app is the latest way in which Ryan has demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit and used technology to make a difference. He has founded his own company, and he previously invented an app to help prevent distracted driving, which earned him a Spirit of the Capital Youth Award in 2017.


Ryan sums up his approach to innovation: “When others say ‘why?’ I say ‘why not?’”


Ryan’s efforts are a great example of the OCDSB Culture of Innovation and Social Responsibility in action. Great work, Ryan!


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