Life Changing App
Walter Gugenberger, owner of Flow Digital, a full-service software development company, likes nothing better than solving complex problems.
“I love what I do, and I think I’m good at it,” he says. “I compare it to playing with digital LEGOs.”
Gugenberger recently teamed up with Bivian “Sonny” Lee III, founder and president of the nonprofit Son of a Saint, to create an app designed to solve lots of things for the organization, which provides mentorship and emotional support to fatherless boys through a vast array of educational and cultural programming.
"The care for these young men requires a great deal of planning and talent from many people who support our mission,” said Lee. “I knew we could find a way to alleviate some of the headaches that come along with event management, scheduling and general organization of our efforts. I also wanted a safe space for mentors to communicate with our boys, so for me, a mobile app was the obvious answer to all of these."
Son of a Saint manages more than 20 events each month, with 24/7 support spanning the range of recreation, job placement, career exploration, scholarships and travel.
Using input from Lee and his staff, Gugenberger created an app that allows for five different types of user accounts: administrators, mentors, mentees, guests, and volunteers, along with designated access levels. Additionally, the app has five distinct features collectively take dozens of tasks off staff members’ hands, including an events calendar, with customized visibility for each user type. It also has a waiting list in place so users can be notified if there’s a cancelation, and so then the availability goes to the next person in line.
From Feb. 17-21, Son of Saint mentees will be in Oakland, California at the My Brother's Keeper Rising Conference.
"To not have to worry about whether mentees will make it to an activity, and having one central place to check all aspects of programming, already feels like a lifesaver for us,” says Chris Musco, program manager with Son of a Saint. “This takes a number of tasks off my team’s list each day. Overall, this app will keep our mentees, mentors and caretakers more informed about what we have going on. Our job of caring for and making sure that the needs of our young are being met 24/7 just got a little easier with this app.”
Son of a Saint plans to leverage the app as it grows into new locations, with plans for a Baton Rouge satellite office within the next year.
“The Son of a Saint app will be a game-changer for our programming,” says Lee. “Managing the logistics will become less high-touch, allowing us to focus on what we do best: supporting our boys.”
Gugenberger says he is passionate about all of his work but was particularly thrilled for his young and growing company to be involved in something so worthwhile.
“I know this will benefit the organization,” he says, “and because of that it will benefit the young men they serve.”