It’s a Costa Rica proverb shared by his father that guides Kwan Holloway:
“Verdaderos líderes no tratan que conducir, ellos ya hacer” which means, “True leaders don’t try to lead, they already do.” And Kwan has spent his time at Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College doing and learning. His approach to school and life has been greatly influenced by his parents.
“My family was never rich and we never had anything handed to us. I watched my parents work crazy hours in order to provide for me and I knew I’d have to work just as hard if not harder to make my own place in the world. And that’s what I’ve been doing to get up to this point.”
Kwan majored in Multimedia Computing, which is computer science with a focus on web design, graphics, gaming and other forms of media. He says coding has changed his life and allowed him to become a great problem solver, and has influenced his life outside of computers.
“I can approach problems logically, or abstract them into easy to understand concepts. I always find myself thinking of new ways to implement solutions to my various problems in my games. I take the concepts and theory of coding in order to manage and display my other interests, like art. I can break down my process into conceptual stages and then tackle them one at a time like I would if it were a programming problem.
Kwan has been a Peer Mentor at Brooklyn College and he had an internship at CodeToWork, a company that tries to get young, minority students their first jobs in the tech world. He’s most proud of the work he did on his project Code Control, a game he developed that teaches the basics of coding to people. He is on the Dean’s List and received an award from the National Black Science Students Organization. Kwan’s college education was an expectation in his family.
“My mother is from Barbados, and my father is from Costa Rica, and both of parents are college educated and work in the health field. I’m continuing the trend of going to college because they raised me and always pushed me to be the best I can. They let me know that life would be harder for me because I’m black, but that it shouldn’t be a reason to ever give up. They support me in more ways than I can count and are positive about me pursuing my goals.”
Kwan has a full-time position in computer programming and he expects to continue in gaming and web designing, as well as coding, which he says allows him to “create anything I wish and it allows me to have an intimate connection with what I create.” His studies at Macaulay helped lead him there.
“I was attracted to Macaulay because of the ability to gain connections where I could help others, as well as grow in my own ways. I was also able to focus on growing as a person, both socially and academically without the burden of tuition.”
The New Design High School graduate has come a long way, but his parent has instilled in him to be the best that he can be—at whatever he does.