Described as an “extraordinary student leader” by BCC administration official
February 16, 2022
By David Rowe, Associate Editor
Harry Mapodile, a sophomore computer science student at Berkeley City College (BCC), relaxes by listening to movie soundtracks and sea shanties while refining his C++ and Python coding skills. Unfortunately, his hectic schedule as President of the Associated Students of Berkeley Community College (ASBCC), in addition to taking 19 academic units this quarter, allows little time for such diversions.
Mapodile’s LinkedIn profile lists no fewer than 10 activities and societies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee and the Berkeley Blockchain Club. He also has volunteered as a chaperone for Compassion in Oakland, a non-profit organization that helps protect residents of Oakland’s Chinatown district from Asian hate crimes.
Twice a month, Mapodile presents updates on ASBCC to the Peralta Board of Trustees. He also participates in Roundtable meetings with BCC officials including President Angelica Garcia.
The Citizen caught up with Mapodile recently between classes to learn how the 20-year-old manages to successfully juggle so many responsibilities.
Mapodile says he applies organizational skills gained through participation in hackathons, where programmers are given a business or technical challenge which must be solved within 48 hours.
He also finds tips from reading management books and biographies from leaders such as Barack and Michelle Obama.
Mapodile admits his busy schedule sometimes comes at the expense of a full night’s sleep, although he generally manages to get six hours a night.
Mapodile is an international student from Johannesburg, South Africa. He decided to apply to Berkeley City College two years ago based on its location near the world’s leading technology companies and its tradition of political activism. He was also attracted by BCC’s Cross Enrollment Program which allows students to also take classes at UC Berkeley.
He plans to transfer full-time to UC Berkeley starting this Fall where he will continue to study computer science.
Mapodile was elected ASBCC president in April 2021 by a margin of just 27 votes. This represented 54% of the 123 votes that were cast, however. Mapodile had considered running for Vice President of Finance but decided to go for the top office instead.
John Nguyen, Director of Student Activities & Campus Life at BCC, describes Mapodile as “an extraordinary student leader who has been dedicated and committed to student success at Berkeley City College. He has done an amazing job at representing students, organizing events, and making reports on behalf of the ASBCC. He truly takes the time to listen to students so that he can effectively represent them. I have no doubt that he will make it very far in life and I am so honored to be part of his journey.”