CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One Albemarle High School student is stepping up to the plate after dealing with her own challenges and seeing others struggle with mental health during the pandemic.
Sophomore Anna Rosner developed a new award-winning app called “Feel Better” which aims to help teens focus on the positive.
“It just brings positivity, even if the day wasn’t so good, it’s something that made it a little bit better,” Rosner said.
Unlike most teens, Anna spent her free time over the summer teaching herself how to code in order to launch her positive journaling web app.
“The goal was just to make something that just helps people bring a little bit of joy and a little bit of gratefulness into such a turbulent time of the pandemic,” Rosner said.
In just two months, her platform was up and running. It has two main parts, a journal page and a mood tracker.
“The journal asks four questions...three of the questions stay the same each day: one thing that brought you happiness, one thing that you’re grateful for, and one thing you’re looking forward to.” Rosner said. “There is also a mood tracker that asks you to rate your mood throughout the day from one to five.”
Betsy Pittman is a counselor at Albemarle High School.
“What’s so cool about the app is this student has drawn on research. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a big one, of just saturating yourself with the things that are going right,” she said.
Pittman says this app could be a game-changer for teens struggling with mental health.
“The potential for impact is huge. These are techniques that therapists offer their clients, and suddenly they’re accessible to students on a much broader scale.”
Pittman is not the only one impressed by the app. Rosner was crowned a first-place winner in the congressional app challenge by former Fifth District Congressman Denver Riggleman.
“I was just so happy to find out that the work I had put into the app and everything had paid off and I got first place,” Rosner said.
The app is not available to the public yet, but Anna hopes to commercialize it in order to help more teens.
“It is incredibly impressive that a student would look at her environment and see a need, and choose to do something about it,” Pittman said. “That takes so much dedication and really a compassion for our fellow human beings.”
Anna plans to share her award-winning app with congressional representatives at the ‘House of Code’ event in April.