theGrio’s 100: Rodney Stearns, helping locate missing kids with Text No More

Rodney Stearns (Photo courtesy Rodney Stearns)

Rodney Stearns (Photo courtesy Rodney Stearns)

Who is Rodney Stearns?

Rodney Stearns is an iPhone app developer from Portland, Oregon who designed the Text No More app to prevent users from texting while driving.  His inspiration for creating the app was his son, Devyn, who in 2010 was close to earning his driver’s license.

Stearns was in the U.S. military for 9 years, where he worked as an Army medic, as well as a Navy Hospital Corpsman.  Upon leaving the military, Stearns worked as an EMT in Los Angeles for 9 years.  It was while working as an EMT that Stearns saw just how many accidents and unnecessary deaths were caused because someone was texting while driving.

“I can’t tell you how many times my heart stopped when I would arrive at the accident scene and the officer would tell me that the reason for this teen’s death was due to texting while driving,” Stearns said in his TextNoMore bio.  “It is moments like these that will forever hold my pledge to save as many lives as possible.”

Users of the celebrity endorsed app simply set an amount of time that they will be driving, and in-coming text messages will be held until the allotted time runs out or the app is turned off.  For every text that is held the user will receive a coupon for anything from haircuts to food items.

Why is he on theGrio’s 100?

After releasing Text No More, Stearns saw an opportunity to help his community through the use of his app.  The safe driving app partnered with the Association of Missing and Exploited Children’s Organization (AMECO) and the Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans (OATH) to provide users of the application with the photo and information of a missing person each time they use the app.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X80egXJYy_I

What’s next for Stearns?

This past October, Stearns was awarded the first place grand prize package at GeekWire’s Fall Meetup for his Text No More application.  Stearns won four gold passes to the Seattle Interactive Conference, one pass to NWEN’s Entrepreneur University, and a $100 gift certificate to Amazon.

As part of his winning package from GeekWire’s Fall Meetup, Stearns will be attending this year’s Seattle Interactive Conference.  The conference is a technology forum that brings together small and large businesses and rising entrepreneurs.

With his continued support for the return of missing children and the promotion of safe driving, Stearns is dedicated to making a difference for the better.

Check out Rodney’s website, TextNoMore here.