Real Story: Hassan Turay

Hassan Turay

Headshot of CSM student Hassan TurayCurrent Student, Computer Science 

Current Job Title: Mentor, Purple Boot
Accolades, Accomplishments, and Highlights: 

  • Men of Excellence
  • Talons Robotics Team
  • Student Athlete (Soccer)


I’ve always been involved in STEM activities, more specifically things dealing with coding and computers. I competed in MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement) up until about middle school, and I always was in the programming group, so that was pretty fun.

I’m currently on the Talons robotics team as a programmer. When I was in grade school, I’d always wanted to do robotics, but I never could, because of other extracurriculars like soccer or math team or MESA. I was in Mr. Cleary’s calculus class, we started talking about CSM’s robotics team, and I ended up joining. It's been an opportunity to make up for lost time, and I’ve loved it. My teammates are great, and I’ve learned a lot of stuff beyond what I would have learned in class. It’s been a way that I can really test myself and apply my knowledge in a practical way.

The Math Resource Center (MRC) is a great resource for anyone who's in STEM classes. There's a plethora of math classes at the college, and the MRC covers a lot of them. It’s not just the tutors who are helpful, too; it’s like a community in there, so if a tutor doesn't’t know something, or if a tutor isn't as familiar with the subject, there’s always a student who can help you.

I also like the small class sizes and the one-on-one time you can get with your professors at CSM. I know at some four-year colleges, there can be a huge number of students competing for a professor’s attention, so being able to just walk into a professor’s office and ask them questions—that’s so powerful.

Through the college’s Work-Based Learning, I’ve been involved with the Purple Boot mentoring program, where we mentor young Black men from elementary school through high school, on different life skills: manners, how to be a businessperson, how to work in a professional environment. We also try to introduce them to STEM and STEM topics, and that’s what I do with Purple Boot and WBL. I teach them how to program—mainly Python and a little bit of C++—and I teach them Vex robotics. That makes it fun and competitive. They’re not just staring at a blank screen; they’re actually applying what they learn. We even joined a robotics competition at North Point recently, and there have been a couple of times when the Talons have hosted Purple Boot at the college. We give them a little bit of guidance and a rundown of how a competition works before they experience the real thing.

It is cool to just kind of see the kids start off knowing nothing about programming, and as time goes on—I'm teaching them more stuff, I'm throwing new challenges at them—they all just come together and work together to solve problems. It's very satisfying to see the work pay off and see them developing.

View All Stories

Last updated: 3/21/23

CMS Page Edit