I was a mentor for 3 years and had such a great time working with the students. We truly did everything a real startup would do -- from creating a business plan, to pitching an investor, to actually making & selling a product. Every week was challenging & fun in their own way. I loved being able to share my expertise & also connect with students one-on-one.
I joined BUILD as a mentor for the spirit of entrepreneurship and partnership it embodies, and the promise of a dignifying future for the less privileged. At BUILD students learn valuable skills they can use in college such as project management, inter-personal communication and presentation, and meet professionals from varied backgrounds in a fun and engaging setting. It's rare to find such a diverse group with several generations learning from each other, eliminating social boundaries and exchanging lots of positive thoughts! BUILD team - managers and instructors - are doing an impressive job organizing this class and engaging students and mentors as well. As mentors, we work in collaboration with the students on their projects but the truth is they are the project. It is very gratifying to be with them at this important time of their lives when they are making their way through. This program made a great impression on me and surely on our young BUILDERS. I am certain that the students at Sequoia will remember this elective class long after they will graduate from college.
I attended my second mentor session yesterday. I was quite impressed with the teacher, the other mentors, and the kids themselves developing mature awareness, effective execution and meaningful purpose with these 9th graders. What an advantage these 9th graders would have if they have the vision that what they learn and do today if help them be successful and happy after high school. This is one of the reasons why I liked BUILD today.
As a funny story, over 12 years old I rented Suzanne Kahr her first workplace. Even then I could smell BUILD's success.
This is the second year that I am mentoring for Build, and I am extremely impressed with the professionalism and dedication of both the staff and the students. The program is well run and the trajectory from classroom to college is well thought through and directed. The students are given a lot of freedom to be creative and they are empowered to run their businesses on their own. It's great to work with the students and to experience a curriculum that will set them up for success in high school and beyond.
This is my third year mentoring young women from Skyline High in Oakland. It has been wonderful to see them grow and learn and develop confidence. What I like about BUILD is that it is a comprehensive program that focuses on developing a broad set of business / presentation / life skills through the entrepreneurial part of the program, but it also incorporates a focus on academics as well as prep for college. The result is a very high success rate in getting at risk kids into college. There is an incredibile amount of support provide in a number of different areas, that these kids likely would not be getting otherwise. I also have to say that the staff is wonderful and so committed to each student's success.
I was a Build mentor for 4 years from 2009-2013. I worked with the same group from their Freshman year until they graduated as Seniors. It was immensely gratifying to see these students grow and mature. The context of Build let me get to know these students as people and I think I will stay in touch with my mentoring group long after they've graduated. I'm really invested in their lives.
I have been a mentor, meeting with BUILD students once a week, for the last 2 years. BUILD is a unique program that both provides academic support for students as well as allows them the opportunity to start a real business. BUILD students get a chance to present a full business plan, meet with venture capitalists to get seed money and then get to put their plan into action, manufacturing and selling their products.
I have been greatly impressed with the BUILD staff who work tirelessly to support these students all the way to applying for colleges.
I've just begun volunteering as mentor to 9th grade students this year. BUILD provides a tremendous opportunity for adults in the community to work with kids who may not otherwise be exposed to what its like to develop and implement a project. The program teaches the kids to tap into their creativity, develop ideas, make presentations, be professional, experience setbacks and learn to persevere through them, and generally develop skills in communicating and working with others. The kids are wonderful - they're enthusiastic, they work hard, they care about their assignments, and they have so much energy. The BUILD staff and the teachers in the schools they serve are dedicated and committed to working with the kids, and the kids really respond to that attention and focus they see in the adults around the, Its an honor to be a mentor and I hope to see all of the 9th graders I've been working with graduate and go on to college.
I mentor with Build once a week. I first hand see the dedication this group of individuals has with these young adults. They are actively working to create an environment where young people are valued in society and feel that value.
Face to face time with my mentees every week in a environment outside of school where there may be environmental pressures also ensures success of this program.
BUILD offers a depth and breadth of learning that is unmatched by other organizations targeting this demographic. The idea of brainstorming and then actually creating a unique product offers students real-life perspective into the business world and what it takes to be successful. They not only build soft skills such as teamwork and negotiation, but also hard skills such as cost management and pricing. As a professional in the business world, I am glad to be able to parlay my day-to-day knowledge to the students.