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Alumna pays it forward

In 2015, Shauna was in her final year of the Software Development and Network Engineering program, when students complete a capstone project. They work with a company, or create their own project to solve a real-life problem. Jones’ team created Motify, an app that helps those living with autism navigate challenges like daily schedules or job interviews.

Classmate Keisha Alcott was on Jones’ team. She was drawn to the challenge of building something that’s tailored to each user. Autism is widely variable, she explains, so Motify’s different modules meet different needs. For instance, one provides real-time feedback on body language and facial expressions after people use a webcam to answer mock job-interview questions. Another guides users through games that help them cope with daily schedule changes, since many people on the autism spectrum feel anxious about managing their time.

Today, the duo continue to perfect Motify while balancing full-time jobs. Alcott is an IT solutions developer at TD Bank. She often uses what she learns at her day job building banking apps in her work with Motify. Jones says her work as a business systems analyst at PointClickCare, a company that provides technology for the long-term care sector, gives her the chance to keep learning about new technologies, and insight into running a business. It’s tough to juggle full-time work alongside Motify, but she’s determined to stick with it.

Motify is among the top 10 contenders for the William G. Davis Innovation fund.