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Dallas College Student Pitches App To Combat Mental Health Issues

Dallas College computer science student Prabin Dhakal asked a simple question: Why don’t more people land their dream job?

As a college student, Dhakal noticed that part of the problem started in the classroom. He wondered why some students succeeded and others struggled despite taking the same classes taught by the same teachers.

“I started digging in,” Dhakal said. “I found that focus and concentration is what makes you great. It’s not like Bill Gates or Elon Musk have these huge brains bigger than ours. It all comes down to mentality.”

That’s why Dhakal is creating an app, MindCraft Academy, to help students improve their mentality and combat mental health-related issues. Dhakal pitched his app to the judges as part of the Texas Cup Pitch Competition in late March, and advanced to the semifinals.

Dhakal shined in the semifinals and is now one of 12 finalists who will make their pitch live at the GSV Mission Summit on May 24 at SMU in Dallas. There will be approximately 500 potential investors in attendance.

“Advancing to the finals of this pitch competition has been no small feat,” said Justin Cunningham, associate vice chancellor of Innovation and Business Strategy, Workforce and Advancement.

“Prabin has shown resilience, creativity and unwavering belief in his product. He captivated the judges and hopefully inspires aspiring Dallas College entrepreneurs.”

This is a moment that Dhakal has been working toward since 2016 when he first started his entrepreneurial journey by building his own websites. However, it wasn’t until this spring when everything fell into place with his idea for MindCraft Academy and subsequent success in the Texas Cup Pitch Competition.

“It’s an honor being in the finals,” said Dhakal, who was born in Nepal and raised in Japan before coming to the United States for college.

I’ll be telling people about this app and how it’s going to change their life, their journey. I truly think this app is going to change the future of education.”

Dhakal pointed to a couple of studies that showcase how the mental health issue has grown over the years.

An estimated 4.1 million people aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode, according to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). And, according to a Microsoft Corp. study from 2015, the attention span in people had dropped to eight seconds, which is less than even a goldfish (nine seconds).

These issues will be addressed through the MindCraft Academy app, Dhakal said. The vision is to create a Facebook-like community where students can share experiences and provide feedback to each other. There will be mental health-related courses and games, as well as the ability to connect students with mental health professionals.

“My app is all about having a great mentality,” he said. “At MindCraft Academy, we believe mindset, focus and concentration is what you need to be successful in your life.”

* All students and Dallas College faculty and staff interested in attending the GSV Summit can receive a free ticket with the promo code Mission23 at checkout.

Published inStudent Success Story