Fresno State student develops app to serve others

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Fresno State student develops app to serve others
A Fresno State student is on a mission to make the world more accessible to all.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno State student is on a mission to make the world more accessible to all.

Using his eyes instead of a mouse, Melvin Velasquez is working on his computer to develop his business "Get Served."

"I feel it's necessary," said Melvin Velasquez of Get Served Transportation.

Velasquez is a physically-challenged student who's developing an app to help people like himself get care using their phones or computers.

His business partner Bibiana Orozco explains how the app would work.

"The user themselves, which would be a physically-challenged individual, would create a profile stating what their needs would be and then a personal care assistant would log onto the app and create their own profile on what they can help a physically-challenged person do," said Orozco, Get Served Transportation business partner.

Renae Lopez is Velasquez's personal care assistant and describes the tasks a personal care assistant can do.

"Turning on his chair, restroom assistance, dining assistance... so he can't feed himself. I get to feed him and enjoy his company," Lopez said.

These workers would set their own hours and the app would match them up to others. They would be paid an hourly wage and could even drive someone if they had the resources.

"There are 40,000 individuals right now that need a PCA and they're all physically challenged. Providing the services for them would allow them a little bit more freedom and give them the opportunity of doing daily tasks," Orozco said.

Velasquez has his own office inside Lyle's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's Hatchery Program.

He was chosen as the self-advocate of the year for the Central Valley Regional Center.

"This app is above and beyond his own personal needs, this app could help so many people in our community," said Heather Flores, CVRC Executive Director.

Orozco and Velasquez hope to raise more than $100,000 to launch the app.

His partner says she's been inspired by Velasquez's determination, "He's a force to reckon with."

A force that's on a mission.