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Clemson freshman from Charlotte creates free app for students to stay engaged during the pandemic

The app, limited to Clemson students, is called CollegePals and is available for free on Google Play.

CLEMSON, S.C. — With limited in-person classes, online meetings and social distancing guidelines students have been finding it difficult to meet new classmates.

“I think one of the fun parts of being in a classroom is you have people that you know," CollegePal creator, Alexis Delobelle said, adding, "If you have a problem with a question you can ask them for help and that’s not an option at the moment."

That reason alone is why Delobelle, a freshman at Clemson, created the app CollegePals on Google Play to solve that issue this pandemic.

“My mom was talking about in the Facebook group for the parents a lot of students were struggling to meet people so that’s kind of where the idea came from," Delobelle said. 

The former Charlotte Latin high school student said the free app allows students to even find virtual study groups or socially distant events happening on campus.

“It had like a huge spike like two weeks ago but now it's been like a constant stream it has about 104 people right now," Delobelle said. 

Here’s how it works: you create your account by adding your name and a picture, then you answer a series of questions to connect with people that have similar interests.

“Just a few questions like what’s your hometown, major what you do in your free time," Delobelle said. 

 Then you automatically gain access to start chatting with friends or to share the app so others can jump on board.

“You can choose individuals and chat with them and there’s also events that you can create," Delobelle said. 

Delobelle said CollegePals is only designed for students who attend Clemson University.

“I know at least one person found a really big group and they’ve been hanging out with those people everyday for the last two weeks so that was a success," Delobelle said.  “The dream would be for it to apply to other schools.”