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Margaret23

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BUILD
September 23, 2011

Mentor some at-risk teens? Teach them how to write a business plan? Form long term relationships and support students as they raise their GPAs and apply to college? I had no idea what to expect when I started volunteering with BUILD as a business mentor three years ago.

I was assigned a group of four girls and one boy my first year with BUILD. I learned a lot about the BUILD program right along with my students and realized I had a lot to teach them as I helped them write assignments, deliver presentations, and calculate financial projections. Moreover, I discovered how much they responded to me consistently showing up to work with them, assuming they are going to college, and treating them like smart, responsible, young adults.

When the students launched their business, they immediately started running into problems. Their product didn't sell like they thought it would. Some team members left the team and some left the BUILD program. It was a very discouraging time. The students experienced ups and downs of business ownership just as real entrepreneurs do.

I have now started my fourth year with my mentees and I have seen them change and mature dramatically over the course of high school. They are better about self-starting, voicing their opinions, asking for resources, and sharing news and stories with me. I care about my student's success and happiness and that's what keeps me coming to BUILD.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I personally experience the results of this organization through my ongoing relationship with my mentees.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish BUILD had a way of fostering a more cohesive mentor community. I don't feel like I have opportunities to interact with other mentors as much I want.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I mentored a team of teen entrepreneurs as they launched their own business, improved their grades, and prepared to apply to college.