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Release Date: Friday, May 2, 2014 2:49 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Howard University Middle School Students Win
Verizon’s “Best in State” Competition

WASHINGTON (February 7, 2014) - A team from Howard University’s Middle School of Mathematics and Science (MS)2 recently won the “Best in State” title during Verizon’s Innovative App Challenge. The all-female group representing Howard included Abosede Onibo-oje, Eartha West, LeNia Samuels, Niambi Klugh, and Nkozia Knight.  

“We are on cloud nine because their hard work paid off,” said Patrick Gusman, the group’s advisor, who teaches computer science and technology. “It’s essential that students learn the latest technology and for local businesses to invest in educational programs.”

Of 1,300 entries in the competition, 81 finalists made it to the “Best in State” round. The middle school students were selected as the only “Best in State” winner from the Washington, D.C., area. Their app, Build Central, assists builders and architects in the construction process. The students were assisted by Clearly Innovative, Inc., a Washington-based mobile solutions provider.

“We are extremely proud of our students for their achievement,” said Yohance Maqubela, the middle school’s executive director. “At (MS)2, we are dedicated to ensuring that all of our students have access to rigorous Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs. The high achievement by this group of young ladies further demonstrates that our investment in STEM is delivering results.”


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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