I have been a Business Plan Judge for Oakland, I'm on my second year as a Student Mentor in East Oakland, and recently joined their Bay Area Advisory Board. I have been most impressed with the efficacy of this organization and their ability to dramatically change the lives of the youth that participate in BUILD.
1) The first thing you notice when you volunteer with BUILD is how organized and professional they are, from the guided curriculum to the volunteer training and coordination.
2) The second is the talent, passion and enthusiam of the staff that support these amazing high school students.
3) Finally, the passion and caring nature of the mentors that volunteer their time to help these kids succeed in high school, in college, and in life.
While BUILD targets the most dis-engaged youth with the fewest resources in some tough neighborhoods...the attitudes, confidence and talent among these youth is heart warming and astounding. Providing them someone who is guiding them and believing them is a true recipe for success. I've seen first hand youth turn from a life with gangs and drugs, on the path to being a High School Dropout, to being straight A students.
Thank you BUILD for all that you do!
The BUILD model uses entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success. This program is now nation-wide with incubators in Boston, Washington D.C. and Northern California. And it's working! The BUILD model is one of the most successful in the nation targeting and working with at-risk youth.
I am proud to be part of BUILD and to see the changes they are making in the lives of students and in education systems across the country. GO BUILD!
I engaged with BUILD over 10 years ago because I felt this group captured the entrepenuerial spirit that built Silicon Valley and was attacking a whole new opportunity. It was the opportunity to take disengaged youth and get them to a place they never saw as possible. It applied this entrepenuerial culture to a group of people that no one else would consider and, it did it right in our backyard. We often fail to see the issues right in front of us. I started as a Venture Capital Advisor which allowed me to see uninterested kids develop into a fully functional teams/business. I was so inspired that I wanted to help more and joined the advisory board in order to get other corporate leaders engaged in tackling local issues. The BUILD staff is an amazing, dedicated group that is constantly innovating and further improving an already outstanding program. They hold themselves to a very high standard, which in the end, becomes the basis of a great role model for the kids they are developing.