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    Samuel P. Folledo

    Class of: 2017
    Degree Program: Associate in Science, Computer Science

    What factors led you to decide to attend Hudson County Community College?
    During my senior year in high school, my school required every senior who had not already decided a college after graduation, to consider HCCC and to take a placement exam. Since my Math score in SATs exceeded 600 points, I only had to take the English and Reading, which I very quickly finished and passed advanced. The proctors were surprised and told me that if I enrolled, I could immediately register for Calculus I and English 101 in my first semester.

    What is your favorite memory of the College, in or out of the classroom?
    My favorite memory had to be leading the then-inactive Computer Science Club to the best club in the college in my last two semesters in HCCC. We hosted a couple of events in HCCC and even went to an overnight Hackathon League event in Rutgers New Brunswick and NJIT as a club.

    How did you become interested in Computer Science?
    The first time I was asked which major or career I was interested at was in my freshman year of high school, and I said I wanted to be a mathematician. During high school, I took different Arts and Computer Arts classes and I immediately realized projects I created were beautiful and I enjoyed it. As I was sitting down with a counselor, I asked myself, how I could combine both math which challenges my brain and arts which I enjoy creating? The answer is Computer Science!

    How did your time at HCCC prepare you for your career/ life now?
    I took a Computer Science course during my first semester to see if this is something I really wanted to do; the moment I created a command and the computer printed it, I knew this is what I wanted to do. Through my first Computer Science course, I started seeing visions and hearing whispers on what I can potentially do. From then on, I became a hardworking leader, willing to take on any challenges in his path and exceeding expectations. Now, I study and research anything I can learn about Apple and other smart technologies in hope to soon create my own device.

    What is a typical work day for you?
    My typical work day revolves around improving my programming skills by taking online courses, improving my app’s designs, and advertising and working on my small start-up business repairing, troubleshooting, and upgrading phones, laptops, computers, watches, or any broken device I can get my hands on.

    What has been the most memorable project/ case you have worked on?
    One of the most memorable project that the Computer Science Club and I worked on is an app we submitted in a Hackathon League event at Rutgers New Brunswick. We created an Augmented Reality Pong game using a very new Swift API called ARKit. The app uses the outside world as its environment. First, the camera detects a flat surface and on as the user taps on the screen it will add the arena to the screen and the two paddles (player’s paddle and opponent’s paddle). On another screen tap, a ball will be launched, and the game begins where the user would have to personally shuffle their feet left and right in order to return the ball. Unfortunately, since we only had 24 hours, we failed to finish it. However, we did more than enough to impress a couple of the judges and received a small prize from them. At the end of the day, we all went home more inspired to learn as this event showed us our weakness and areas we need to improve on.

    Who are your biggest inspirations that have impacted your work in some way?
    My biggest inspirations are God and my mom who believed and supported me financially. My friends who I consider as family, and staff and professors who guided me throughout my college years also played a role in keeping the fire alive inside me.

    What advice would you give to recent HCCC graduates?
    My number one advice to recent HCCC graduates is to stay hungry. Desires define who you are but your hunger places where you need to be.

    What advice do you have for those students who are just starting their college careers?
    My advice for new college students is to be extra daring from the very beginning and stick to it. Everyone around you, including professors and classmates, dissects you on the first 8 seconds they see you. It is up to you if you want to stay quiet, be average, or have a jaw-dropping presence.