Careers in Code: Congratulations Cohort 5!

Hack Upstate
12 min readOct 27, 2023


Group photo on stage of students holding certificates at graduation, smiling.

We’re very proud and excited to announce the graduation of the Cohort 5 students enrolled in our Careers in Code program!

Our capstone presentations and graduation ceremony was held on Thursday, September 28 @ the James Commons Campus Center at Le Moyne College.

Immediately following the capstone project presentations was the graduation ceremony where each student received a diploma.

Every one of these determined students continued to engage in class even when it transitioned from in-person to virtual, and went on to graduate from Careers in Code. We’re so proud of our fifth cohort of students and can’t wait to see them take the next step in their software development careers!

You can view their capstone presentations and graduation ceremony here, some photos here, and a congratulations video here.

Shannon Allen | Presentation Video
Stack: HTML, CSS, Javascript, React, sass, sequelize,, Netlify, Beekeeper, postgres

After realizing that my original project was not going to be possible I was inspired by my good friend Holly to build a pet adoption site. Cats are my favorite beings on the planet so this was perfect. I’m trying to solve the problem of millions of animals being in shelters or homeless and many never finding homes.

My site allows shelters to create an account and add all of the pets they have at their shelter. Tthis make it easy for them to increase the likelihood of adoption without worrying about building and maintaining their own site. I’m super proud that photos can be uploaded to the site using two databases and an api that I built. I plan to add logins to the shelter side of the site and build the adopter side so that the animals can be viewed and adopted.

Amberlyn Edmunds

Floral Forecast | Presentation Video
Stack: JSX, React, CSS, Bootstrap, Sequelize, useState, useEffect, Fly, Netlify, Beekeeper, API, Trefle botany API, USDA Farmers market API

I chose this for my project because it’s a website I wish I had when I was learning to start seeds and learning to garden! During this time, I found that most websites have a great variety of vegetable seed growing information but I found that flower seed growing information in one place. I wanted to have a way for all information to be found in one location instead of having to go website to website to find information.

My website has a feature that pulls data from a botany API based on certain parameters the user chooses or by using the search bar. The user can then save plants to their garden, which is saved into the database and called back to the website to list the seed starting and growing data for the user on the Garden page! Using the USDA farmers market API, the website also allows the user to find farmers markets within 100 miles of their location imputing their zip code in order for flower farmers/gardeners to find or sell their product! News API pulls news articles from around the world to display on the website including links to external sites to view the articles. I hope to add ways the user can include more growing information into their gardens and also I would like to add a login page.

Tara Rowser

Auesome Connections
Presentation Video
Stack: PostgresSQL, React, Node.js

My capstone project centers on the development of a community website or blog dedicated to Autism. I chose this project because I am convinced that it can be a resourceful means of nurturing a sense of togetherness among the Autism community and raise awareness. Often, parents find themselves isolated and lacking the support they need. I firmly embrace the timeless idea that “raising children takes a village”. My goal is to incorporate a segment featuring games designed to engage children in sensory play.

Kenny Lual

Presentation Video
Stack: SERN stack (sql, express.js, React.s, Node.js) and Google Cloud Console API’s

I got my motivation for this project from traveling apps like Expedia. I wanted to build something similar where a user can input a location and be able to find popular locations, hotels, flight times and costs, and even rent cars as well. However, for the sake of completing the project on time for the program, I had to scale it down to certain key features for now. I hope to keep working on it and get other things working as well.

The biggest feature I’m proud of is how users are able to search an area of interest which will then display to them a list of popular locations within that radius, showing as markers on a google map I have incorporated into my capstone. The overall use of the app is supposed to be like an itinerary planner where users can plan their next adventure with peace of mind and hassle-free. In the future I hope to add additional features such as flights and their costs, hotels with costs, even maybe create a login or signup page so users can add their choices to a list or save their information so they can always come back to at any time and pick up where they left off.

Lashea jones

Presentation Video
Stack: Clerk, SQL,

I chose this idea for two reasons, 1) I couldn’t think of anything I really wanted to build as my first project and 2) after discussing it further, I wanted to make something about home remedies — something I personally love, when it comes to having or making certain items to help with day-to-day issues that may arise. It’s the small, simple things that can really make a person’s day complete or easier.

The app is mainly just a library (at least that’s the idea for it eventually) where people can share the useful ideas they’ve come up with or remedies that are passed down through family traditions. It also helps people learn more about the daily items that are usually overlooked or believed to have a single purpose when there’s possibly many things you can do/make. I would love (and I will) keep updating this app to be much more user friendly in terms of interface and usefulness. I would like to maybe have a directory of different remedies involving household cleaning, wellness, D.I.Y inventions, etc. and possibly have a checklist for items used and where you can find them in stores with prices listed. I’ll see when I come across that bridge on my way to greatness!

Natasha West

Thank You For Being a Friend
Presentation Video

Stack: React, JS, JSX, Html, CSS, Postman, Bootstrap & Beekeeper for my DB

‘Thank You For Being a Friend’ is a platform where socially introverted folks can post their big events and recruit party guests. I am an individual living with several mental health diagnoses and consequently, I choose to spend most of my time alone. I require a lower volume of stimulating activities to keep my mental distress in check. That means, I don’t have the social resources to throw an event where I would have enough people to show up for a celebration. I’ve seen this with many individuals who have lost their support due to the behavior they exhibit from their illness. Children with empty party venues, young adults with no one to call when they have good news, even elderly folks with no family contact whatsoever. It’s truly heartbreaking.

The way my site is set up currently, you can post your party details & folks can choose to show interest in your event. You can read the terms and conditions contract for attending/hosting parties and they must be accepted before you can respond to a party link. Filling out the “host a party” intake will send the party information to my database, then users can see those party options in the “join a party” drop down list. I am proud of the very last edit I made which was to add a testimonial slideshow on the homepage. Right now, it works and has pictures from “parties we’ve connected”. I will be adding dialogue for those photos, from the clients. I would like to connect my “join a party” sections to my party “guests” database as well. More to come, I’m excited!

Dani Carman | Presentation Video
Stack: Html, CSS, javascript, react, fly, netlify, Tarot API, SQL, Node.js, Beekeeper, Postman, postgres

I chose this project because I wanted to commit to something and follow it through to completion. I was motivated to see it through and ensure it worked well. The problem I was solving was making a clean and simple site for people to have their tarot cards pulled and saved to refer back to. I’m super proud that I got my API to talk to the front and back end. The overall use for my app is to have tarot cards pulled and saved and have a fortune teller.

I hope to add to my site in the future other functions, such as a working log-in page, other card pull spreads, get pictures of the tarot cards to come up, etc.

Taylor Kingston

Presentation Video
Stack: HTML, Bootstrap, CSS, JS, React, SQL, Postgres, Sequelize

The current state of my capstone is designed to allow players of D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) 5e, both new and veterans, the ability to track their character’s progress through the campaign. From their basic info, to the contents of their gear, and not only the stats and rules associated with those items, but what they do and how to use their stats in combat. It will also help them keep track of which dice to roll, what numbers to add to those rolls, etc.

SaQuota Reaves

Healing Untouched Wounds | Presentation Video
Stack: Clerk,, Netlify, postgres, express, created my own API

I chose this project based on my personal experience with grief and looking for a therapist. Mental health is a very taboo topic in the Black and Brown community and I wanted to shine light on the positive aspects of therapy. I am proud of building my API! It was a lot of work, but it came together nicely! This app will be used to create a community for those who are grieving and need assistance with finding support in Upstate New York. I hope to add an event page and an interactive blog!

Palash Bharti

Flixmatch | Presentation Video
Stack: Clerk API, TMDB API, Shibe Online API, React, Sequelize, Animate.css, React-Content-Loader, Postgres,, Netlify

FlixMatch is a movie-reviews-based friend-finder/dating app. Here’s how it works: users can pick a genre, rate the movies that pop up, and get matched with other users in the database who may have rated similar movies.

Not only did I aim to build an app that utilizes multiple libraries, but I also wanted to explore the idea of a niche-based dating app. I take pride in the relational database design on the backend. Separating the data for users, movies, genres, and movie ratings makes it clean, efficient, and quick to query the database based on your requirements.

In the future, I hope to include movie genres in calculating the compatibility score and add a chat feature for matched users. Regarding the user experience (UX), I plan to incorporate animations and visual effects to make the user engagement more satisfying, akin to the swipe experience in dating apps.

Alize Claudio

SCSD Book Report App
Presentation Video
Stack: React.js

Alize was inspired by her love of reading and student success in education. The problem she was trying to solve was to help minimize learning loss over summer break for students. She wanted to help impact students’ learning, by building a platform for students to keep their summer reading logs/learning in one place. Students would upload their book reports, and it would get stored in a database for future use.

The platform consists of options for various book lists that can be downloaded. Students can then read the books on the list and write a report when they are finished, by logging in and filling out a report form. They can then go abc and view their previously submitted reports, as well as show teachers at school. In the future, Ali would like this to be actually used by students in the Syracuse City School District (SCSD). She would also like to add ‘sign in with Microsoft’ as an option, since that is what is currently in use by SCSD.

Corwin Williams Jr.

Garden Community
Presentation Video

Corwin was inspired by his grandmother and love of cooking. He wanted everyone to have access to fresh, non-gmo, pesticide free produce, like he has. Hihs solution was to create a web app where people can find information about where to get seeds like this to grow their own food.

The app is a searchable database that shows things like if the plant is above ground or not, when to harvest, and any diseases or pests to be aware of. Since he had trouble finding a comprehensive api to use, Corwin created his own database and input all the data by hand.

What’s next? Corwin would like to add the ability to sign in to the app, create and save a favorites list, and show tips and suggestions from more experienced users.

Brandilyn Tayler

ASL 2 Go | Presentation Video
Stack: React.js

ASL 2 Go is an American Sign Language reference web app. Brandi was an ASL major in college, and always has friends and family curious about how to sign various things. She wanted to create an easy resource for people to learn ASL.

Currently you can choose from the menus at the top to navigate to pages and find things like ABCs, numbers etc. Brandi recorded all of the video and photo content on the site herself. If the resource you need is not available, users can also fill out a form to make a request for something you’d want to learn. The request gets stored in a database, and can then be viewed by signed in users to check the status.

Brandi would love to add more categories and signs such as a specific page for baby signs, profiles and the ability to sign in, making the website more accessible by adding accessibility features, and adding a lot more information in general — possibly fulfilling some requests!

Rain Jones

RainBowl Meal Planner
Presentation Video
Stack: React.js

As a busy mom of a toddler, Rain wanted to solve the problem of struggling to find time to think of and make healthy meals, and fit them into a busy schedule.

The website she created allows you to input the number of daily calories you’d like to have, and asks you for any dietary preferences. The website takes your criteria and serves you various recipes that fit within that. The recipes then populate from a site called Spoonacular. It will break down the cost per serving, nutritional value, recipe, etc. and allows you to easily plan healthy meals.

In the future Rain would like to fully deploy this site, add user submitted recipes, and fun animations to the website.