Today we speak with and welcome to Rowan first-generation college student and new transfer, Gregory Zacharko from Cinnaminson, NJ (Burlington County). Gregory is transferring from Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) with an associate degree in Computer Science. While at Rowan University, he will be continuing as a Computer Science major with the ambition of becoming a software engineer or video game programmer.
Why did you choose to continue your education with Rowan?
It’s close to home, and the partnership Rowan has with RCBC helps me transfer over my credits with no problems and move forward with my education. I also saw a great value at Rowan; the tuition is affordable compared to other four-year universities. Seeing that Rowan’s Computer Science program is a top contender in the nation at a low cost and affordability is my number one priority. Plus, going to Rowan allows me to continue with my NJ STARS II scholarship, as well as any possible EOF scholarships or grants that I may receive.
Have you visited the campus? What was your favorite aspect of it?
I haven’t visited the campus yet, but I have talked with someone at RCBC who told me a lot about what Rowan campus has to offer. I’ve heard about the student center and the gym that’s available to Rowan students. I’m most interested in the student lounge, the game room especially because I’m a big gamer. At RCBC, I was a part of the gaming and Super Smash Bros Club and we even held a big tournament for students. I hope that I’ll get a similar experience at Rowan, because that’s where I made a lot of my friends.
Will you be living on or off-campus?
I will be commuting.
Have you set any goals for yourself during your time at Rowan?
To learn more about other people, what they like, to make friends, to get different perspectives, to learn about different cultures so I have a greater understanding of the world around me that I can apply to Software Development, which is what I want to get into post-college.
How did you become interested in Computer Science?
Back in 2007 when I was about seven years old, I got my first gaming console for Christmas, a Nintendo DS lite. That’s when I realized I wanted to make games and I wanted to make people happy through those games. I wanted to give people similar experiences that I had when playing video games.
What was your favorite game on your Nintendo DS?
There were two. One, New Super Mario Bros. The other one was FIFA Soccer ‘08. I’m a big sports fan and a big sports gamer so that was one I really wanted and enjoyed.
Early on, Gregory was diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s, anxiety and depression. Later on in his life, he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. He survived a family house fire and was also put into Special Education classes up until intermediate school. Through everything he has undergone, Gregory persevered. He worked his way up to taking honors and AP courses in high school and graduated from RCBC with a 4.0 GPA and was elected co-valedictorian of the EOF program’s graduating class along with his brothers. We can’t wait to see Gregory and all he will accomplish this 2021-2022 school year back on campus.
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Caitlyn Dickinson, public relations and advertising graduate
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Header photo: Gregory (second from right) and his brothers pose with Congressman Andy Kim at the Zacharko’s graduation from Rowan College at Burlington County.