Sioux City, IA – Samuel Padilla, a junior computer science major at Morningside College, has been named a 2019 National Public Radio (NPR) “How I Built This” Fellow for his work with STEVEN, a program created to help international students adapt and thrive in the United States. Samuel Padilla pitching a startup at the final round of the CEO national pitch competition in Kansas City, MO in 2018.

Padilla was born in Ibague, Colombia and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and English. An avid tennis player, he spent his formative years in Brazil before a tennis scholarship brought him to the United States in 2017 to attend college at Morningside. His experience as an international student inspired him to work with other international students to create STEVEN as a way to assist international students with the adaption process and make the most of their experience in the U.S. In addition to his work with STEVEN, Padilla is a social and environmental advocate who was selected to attend the Winter 2018 United Nations Youth Assembly, an active programmer and web designer, and shares his passion for international experiences, entrepreneurship, and personal development on social media. 

“I believe that for a college student to be successful, they need to find ways to go beyond the college environment and pursue real-world opportunities. I am lucky that Morningside offers several ways to make that transition from the college environment to the real world,” says Padilla. “I’ve pursued all of the opportunities that Morningside has given me, and I believe that this one is probably the most groundbreaking. I see this summit as a turning point in my entrepreneurial journey, and a very huge opportunity to find investors and strategic partners for STEVEN.”

NPR’s “How I Built This” is a podcast that explores the stories of entrepreneurs and innovators and their path to success. The “How I Built This” Fellowship seeks to discover, empower, and elevate promising and ambitious entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities. The 2019 Fellows will come together at the “How I Built This” Summit on October 22 and 23 in San Francisco, where they’ll hear groundbreaking entrepreneurs in conversation with podcast host Guy Raz, attend a Fellows workshop, and have access to educational resources and an expanded professional network that includes previous Fellows and Summit attendees.

Computer science is one of over 40 undergraduate degree offerings at Morningside College. Morningside is committed to preparing students for their future with active learning opportunities that take their education to the next level. Learn more at