• 55°
The Madison Record

Pranav Somu develops database software for Foster Closet

MADISON – Pranav Somu, a junior at James Clemens High School, has developed software to help match resources with needs at North Alabama Foster Closet.

James Clemens teacher Emily Harris volunteers with Foster Closet and knew her students’ talents and interest in creating solutions for real-world problems.

The Foster Closet is a community-based, volunteer-run non-profit resource for foster, adoptive and kinship families across North Alabama. The organization meets tangible needs with new or gently used clothing, shoes, coats, furniture, gear and supplies.

In summer 2020, Foster Closet contacted James Clemens, searching to build an online database application. The proposition interested Pranav, who had completed programming courses and competitions and had growing passion in computer science.

“I knew a bit about foster care, but, honestly, I didn’t have much of an idea about why foster care is important or how it works,” Pranav said. After some reading, Pranav soon realized “how crucial foster care is to provide a safe and stable environment for kids who cannot stay with their parents for some unfortunate reason.”

“More than 400,000 children are in foster care nationwide – highlighting the importance of keeping the foster care system healthy,” Pranav said. “Less than three percent of foster children earn a college degree. Around 20 percent eventually become homeless.”

Fifty percent of new foster parents quit within one year because of adequate supplies.

Pranav logged 300-plus hours, developing thousands of lines of code for the project. “Creating this application was a brilliant opportunity to work on a real-world problem and give back to the community, all while gaining many, many new skills and practical experience,” Pranav said.

Foster Closet was using a massive Google form with thousands of disorganized entries. This process became outdated with increased clients and extremely slow computer response.

Building his application was the best way to help virtually during quarantine. Pranav’s goal was more streamlined communication to/from families, tracking requests and easier data collection/manipulation for grants — with little-to-no cost to Foster Closet.

Pranav’s software can help in expanding outreach, launching large-scale projects and increasing impact in foster community.

While developing this application, Pranav learned many new programming skills. He implemented the web framework, Django, for resources and connections for all required components. He built the front end (which people use to interact with the application) with Javascript, CSS, HTML and Django Template Language.

Pranav said the back end has two main parts:

* Data storing and management. — Using PostgreSQL database, Pranav learned SQL for setup and general management.

* General background processing and logic – Using Python software.

“For testing and evaluation, I’m hosting the application on Ubuntu virtual machine provided by DigitalOcean. Gunicorn, Nginx and other helper software to run and secure the app,” Pranav.

Madison

Ghosts and hobgoblins haunt Halloween Chess Tournament

Madison

Donaldson represents Alabama on national career/tech council

Madison

Madison orchestra gives ‘A Musical Trick or Treat’ (mainly treats)

Madison

Players gain skills in Fall Scholars Chess Tournament

Madison

Check out the October 2022 Madison Living Magazine

Harvest

World War II veteran Major Wooten, 105, loved country and his family

Madison

Madison Street Festival celebrates 40th anniversary in big way

Madison

Have a fun scare at library’s Mad Movie-A-Thon-O-Rama!

Madison

Space Week takes Horizon students on aerospace, tech discoveries

Madison

City urges caution as paving progresses on Hughes Road

Bob Jones High School

Madison City Chess League forms new group for adults

Madison

Madison City Schools named best Alabama school district

Madison

Mercy Wolverton impressively masters hi-tech study, business

Madison

At Madison Street Festival, veterans to show fighter helicopter from Vietnam War

Madison

Local marching bands to be featured at “March on Madison” tonight

Madison

MSF’s Community Showcase promises array of talent

Madison

Brooms, mops in Lions Club sale to raise funds for vision projects

Harvest

Local musicians to jam at Madison Street Festival

Madison

Trash Pandas fall 4-2, Tennessee evens series

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Athletic Hall Of Fame Accepting Nominations

Harvest

Railyard BBQ Brawl and Music Festival returns Oct. 29

Bob Jones High School

Tommy Overcash appointed to Madison Board of Education

Madison

Children vulnerable for troubled mental health, Cook says

Madison

Fast start leads Trash Pandas to 9-5 in playoff game 1 win

x