Jaja Laio is a rising senior at Yale who attended last week’s Yo Hackathon (yes, that’s a real thing in San Francisco, of course) with peers Sebastian Merz, Sophia Chung, and Kyle Ong.
The purpose of the hackathon was to encourage participants to think of new ways to use “Yo,” the new buzzy app that raised one million dollars and soared to the top of the App Store for its one feature — it lets you send a simple message (Yo) to your friends.
The person or team who had the best utilization of such a simple app would be awarded $US2,500 at the end of this week. Some teams, Laio told us, are using the app to “yo” when you make breakfast or “yo” when you want to play a basketball game.
But this group of friends wanted to do something useful. The team created the username “YoTheWorld” in order to collect “Yo’s for good.”
In an email to Business Insider, Laio says,
If YOTHEWORLD gets the most Yo’s by July 4th, 11:59pm PST and wins the $US2500 prize, we will donate all of the money to a girl named Malaika. She’s a four year-old girl from Haiti with atrioventricular canal defect. This means that blood flows through her heart abnormally. If she doesn’t get surgery soon for it, her condition may turn fatal.
This is Malaika.
And helping her is super easy. All you have to do is download “Yo” from the app store and add YOTHEWORLD to your friends list.
So far the team has received a little under 2,000 Yo’s to YoTheWorld. You can send as many as you like to try to help them win.
“We’re not saying that the other teams aren’t doing cool things, but if they win, they’re pocketing the $US2500,” Laio explained in an email. “We don’t need the money but Malaika does.”