HOUSTON – While most teens spend their free time gaming or playing sports, one local teen, Jones Mayes II, created an app for gardeners that allows them to detect invasive vines.
The Houston native is 17 and approaching his senior year at Carnegie Vanguard High School, with passions for STEM, computer science, and art. Recently he began app programming on “Swift” and quickly tapped into the field of technology.
Jones’ stellar work was recognized by Apple this month, winning the “Apple Swift Student Challenge,” a coding competition for teens as well as one of Apple’s most prestigious scholarships. His advanced work on the app also landed him a meet-and-greet with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Although he may be a technical genius, his work is driven by an important person in his life. His late grandfather loved to garden and taught him a lot about the upkeep of plants and how invasive vines can harm environmental systems. IVY helps users find and identify invasive vines in their state and raise awareness for how they can be removed.
Jones is from a family of educators, which comes to no surprise as he spends his time teaching others how to code, as he feels it’s a fun activity and a way to kickstart a great career. For the 17-year-old, the sky is the limit! He’s planning a new update to “gamify” IVY that will launch later this summer.
To see Jones’ complete interview, watch the video above.