By Michelle Cometa
He tinkered with all the electronic gadgets in the house, causing some sparks from time to time. But eventually he got so good at fixing, adjusting or setting up new technologies, Hassan Robinson became his family’s go-to guy for all things electronic. He’s putting that background to work for himself as part of the information technology program.
But Robinson is more than the sum of his technology. He has a connected network of people who support him, and he in turn gives back to both his family and his community.
“I’m part of a family where you do things together, and we give to each other,” said Robinson, who is the youngest of eight children.
Robinson has a long history of volunteering his time, despite a demanding academic program and work. He volunteers with the Project Stride program, a nonprofit group that mentors young students at a local elementary school. He has remained a presence at his former high school, Wilson Magnet, where he tutored students to better understand the intricacies of computer programming. He has also started working with local groups and businesses building websites.
Robinson also has taken another Rochester City Scholar, Christian Rosado, under his wing, tutoring the second-year new media marketing student in Java programming.
Several days a week, he works with Xerox’s marketing and sales development group helping further automate customer information databases and related processes. He did an earlier co-op at Xerox with the risk management team. “I do a lot of that on my own, mostly research and development,” he said. “I’m using a lot of what I am learning here, especially about data modeling.”
Robinson is the last of his siblings to enter college. “You want your children to be better off, to go further than you did,” said his father Adron Robinson, who as the third oldest of 10 children in a single-parent home was unable to attend college. “I told Hassan if I had applied myself more, the opportunities would have been there. He had many of these opportunities in front of him, and I let him know that he could be all the things he wanted to be by taking advantage of them.”
Robinson took that advice to heart, said his mother, Velma Meeks.
“In ninth grade, he told me, ‘Mom, you don’t have to worry about me as far as paying for college. I’m going to apply myself, get good grades and hopefully get a scholarship.’ And here he did it.”