White House Author
Devin Valencia is a 24 year old Mexican-American from Las Vegas, Nevada. She won the Get Schooled College Affordability Challenge sponsored by the College Board and MTV, this past spring. She was announced the winner at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting in San Diego in April 2011 and awarded by former President Clinton himself. More than 200 young people from across 48 states submitted proposals for projects that would take some of the sting out of applying for and paying for college, a process that can be daunting if not flat-out discouraging. Having recently graduated from the University of Nevada, 24-year old Valencia designed CONNECT FUND, a Facebook app that lets users interact, ask questions and get demographic-specific tips and info. Valencia, received $10,000 and the opportunity to fully develop her digital tool with a budget of $100,000. The app, which will launch later this year, will leverage information from a user’s Facebook profile to automatically present a tailored list of relevant financial aid opportunities. The tool will also enable users to tap into their Facebook friends and get help navigating what can be a difficult financial aid maze. Additionally, the app will provide step-by-step tutorials on important processes like filling out the FAFSA form and deciding how much debt to take on.