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News January 31, 2017

Three Charlotte companies work together to create substance-abuse prevention app


Three Charlotte companies have been working together for about a year and a half to develop a new app aimed at preventing substance abuse among children and teenagers.

The Center for Prevention Services is a nonprofit based here in town that offers substance-abuse prevention programs in 21 states. The nonprofit has developed a curriculum called "Learn to Lead" to teach children about substance-abuse prevention.

The CPS thought a mobile app would enhance the curriculum for tweens and teens. But the organization needed help with the development process. That's when Apparo entered the picture.

Apparo, a Charlotte-based nonprofit that helps other nonprofit organizations with technology and IT needs, runs a program called Community Impact Projects. Apparo acts as the middleman, connecting corporate volunteers with nonprofits in need of business and technology solutions.


Apparo connected the CPS with a technology-consulting firm that could help develop a mobile app for the substance-abuse prevention curriculum.

CapTech, also based in Charlotte, has donated time and resources to help the CPS develop its mobile app through Apparo's skilled volunteer engagement program. The app aims to engage and educate teens about substance abuse in a relatable way.

Errol Restelli, principal of CapTech, says the tech-consulting company has worked with Apparo on volunteer projects before, but the substance-abuse prevention mission resonated with Restelli. His firm has invested 730 hours in the project.

"Leadership is one of our core values – putting the needs of others first," Restelli says.

Kim Lanphear, Apparo's executive director, says the CPS is now looking for an independent partner to certify the new app so it can be used in its educational curriculum.

"It's just an exciting and unique way to approach helping folks at a young age avoid the trap of addiction," says Lanphear. "The community came to this from multiple angles. Now we will get it researched, certified and on the market."

Source: Charlotte Business Journal, Three Charlotte companies work together to create substance-abuse prevention app, January 30, 2017, Hilary Burns,