RALEIGH — With many neighborhoods becoming fragmented due to fast growth and gentrification, how can the city bring communities together?

That was the pressing challenge posed to teens from across Greater Raleigh who participated in the Oak City Teen Hackathon on Thursday.

More than 30 students participated in the event, a partnership between Google Fiber and the City of Raleigh’s Digital Inclusion Unit.

The goal: to get teens civically engaged creating a digital solution as a catalyst for good.

Left to Right: Grace Adeyeni, Kohl Medina, Ivan Finol, Alina Jugan, Bradley Upchurch.

In the end, four teams pitched their ideas at the Google Fiber Space on West Jones Street.  The winning team — Grace Adeyeni, Kohl Medina, Ivan Finol, Alina Jugan — focused on mental health, designing a website and mobile application that allows people to connect more effectively to mental health resources.

“My hope is that teen participants walk away feeling empowered to make a positive impact in the community, not just on neighborhood connectedness in our growing city, but on other concerns they or their family and friends might be impacted by,” says Bradley Upchurch, digital inclusion manager at the City of Raleigh’s Housing and Neighborhoods Department.

Teens participating in Oak City Teen Hackathon.

Google Fiber added it was proud to support the event.

“We can’t wait to see the digital solutions this group comes up with to address issues we see playing out not only in Raleigh, but in cities across North Carolina and the nation,” says Jess George, Google Fiber’s Government & Community Affairs Manager in North Carolina.

“This is exactly the kind of challenge we believe high speed connectivity can help overcome.”

Q&A with NC Google Fiber’s Jess George on creating a purpose-driven brand