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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Education, Secondary & High Schools, Youth Development - Business

Mission: Through entrepreneurship-based, experiential learning, BUILD ignites the potential of youth in under-resourced communities and equips them for high school, college and career success.

Results: Since 1999, BUILD has: Incubated over 750 youth businesses Partnered successfully with over 20 schools Expanded service from one city to five Grew budget from $37,000 to $12M Grew staff from 1 to over 100 Since 2012, 98% of students completing the BUILD program graduate from high school on time, and 98% of those are accepted to at least one post secondary opportunity

Target demographics: BUILD works with 1,425 under-resourced students, most of whom will be the first generation in their family to succeed in college and are considered highly disengaged, meaning they have low GPAs, low standardized test scores and infrequent attendance.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 99% of BUILD seniors graduated from high school, 100% of graduating seniors were admitted to at least one college, 90% were admitted to at least one four-year university and 70% enrolled in college.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C. and Boston, MA, New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA

Programs: BUILD works with high school students at-risk for dropping out of school. Our four-year college preparation program begins as a ninth-grade class and uses entrepreneurship as a vehicle to teach academic, business and executive functioning skills. Entrepreneurship is a powerful hook, but college is the goal. By helping students start up and run their own small businesses, BUILD supplements traditional school with real-world professional experiences, academic support and 21st Century skill-building. By equipping students with these college and career readiness skills, BUILD reduces high school drop-out rates and gives youth hope and a promising future in college

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The students' enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is amazing and so is their personal conduct. I cannot believe that these teenagers come from disengaged and low-income communities, because they are organized, well-spoken, disciplined, and creative in solving problems.

I can only imagine how far the students have come and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help them grow further and succeed as adults.

Jamie54

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is run extremely well. Having face-to-face access to students allows for rich and meaningful impact. The 1/week consistent meeting frequency is an excellent way to optimize time with students and see their growth over time. The program and site directors are top notch and provide a full support system for mentors and students alike. I highly recommend participating in or funding this nonprofit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a small business owner and high school teacher, and I have been volunteering as a business mentor with BUILD for 3 years now. BUILD has set me up with a co-mentor and four students that have really become an extended family. I've seen marked improvements, some radically stark improvements, from all four of my mentees in the past few years as a result of their interactions with me and my co-mentor, and their involvement in the program. I have no doubt in my mind that BUILD is the reason at least two of my students are on track to graduating high school at all.
BUILD provides the structure and support for student success through their model. It's not to say that every student buys in, and every mentor commits long-term, but the system is in place for this to occur. I think

Connor B.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Read an article I wrote about my experience with BUILD...

http://section925.com/2013/06/27/get-stoaked-an-oakland-clothing-line-is-determined-to-challenge-perceptions/

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a BUILD mentor is a big commitment but an amazing way to make a tangible difference. I've worked with a small group of students for 3 years, and I've seen them grow into really sharp young entrepreneurs. BUILD gives them an opportunity to flex their intelligence and work ethic in a way that doesn't feel as forced as school. If you want a way to help close the achievement gap in just a couple of hours a week, this is an organization that does that work in a way that few others do and that leverages mentors' knowledge of the professional world.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've only been working with BUILD for a few weeks so far and am so glad I am able to be a part of this organization! They have a wonderful mission and treat their students, families, staff, and volunteers with respect and enthusiasm. I can't wait to see what the future holds for BUILD!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Instead of whining about how bad things are, I started volunteering at a place where I could help real people build real skills and learn life lessons that will be with them forever. By helping kids graduate from high school and successfully pursue post-secondary school, Build.org helps our young citizens create future wealth and build tomorrow's society. Every day I am impressed and pleased at how these kids mature and learn and figure things out. These are good kids who are up to the challenge, and take our help and mentoring seriously. They put the lie to ridiculous stereotypes and fear mongering. I am more than happy to have helped them along their path.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At BUILD, I can volunteer by doing what I love - brainstorm how to start a business! I love business and want to help others. The BUILD method has found an incredible way for me to help youth achieve their goals and get into college by teaching them business schools. The most impressive thing about BUILD is how well run it is. From the very first session, BUILD has planned activities that make facilitating relationships with your mentees incredibly easy and natural.

I tell all my friends about how great my experience is.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a new mentor with BUILD this year at a high school in Redwood City and have been absolutely impressed by the BUILD staff and program. They are extremely organized with training and weekly update emails on what we will be covering in mentor sessions. The teachers at the high school are very enthusiastic about the program and hold the students to a high standard of professionalism. I am looking forward to continuing the year learning and growing with the group and students.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was invited to be a guest at the Build Gala fundraising auction in San Francisco earlier this year. It was my first introduction to this amazing organization. I was deeply moved by their cause after meeting many of the kids who participate in this program. I knew immediately that I had to get involved beyond being a donor. Becoming a Build mentor has allowed me to have a positive impact on some wonderful teens who are at a critical point in their lives. With Build, I am able to leverage my experience as an entrepreneur and father to help put kids on a college-bound trajectory, one that will change their lives forever. Build is simply awesome.