BUILDing a Brighter Future

18 Jul

In these last 8 weeks, I’ve been asked to find and research different organizations in Oakland that could be beneficial in helping PJC develop a family resource center and apply for the Promise Neighborhood Grant. In my search, I came across the BUILD organization. This non-profit strives too improve the learning outcomes of youth who come from a low-income background.

How do they do this? They acknowledge that most high school students dropout because they’re bored, not because they’re incapable. BUILD uses entrepreneurship to reach out to these disengaged high school students. What is more attractive to teenagers than making money? The organization recruits students their freshman year of high school and helps them create a business plan with other classmates. Their sophomore year, the students create and implement the business that they planned the year before. As time goes on, BUILD incorporates more academic tutoring and counseling into the program. In their junior year, students manage their businesses while also receiving academic services such as SAT prep. When senior year hits, students in the BUILD program are guided in deciding which colleges they will apply to and seeking out the financial assitance and scholarships necessary for them to attend school the next year.

Does the program work? The BUILD impact truly seems to be making a difference in the lives of the young people that are involved in it. Students, who may have been on much more treacherous paths before the program, leave high school prepared for the next step on their journey – college. To date, 100% of the students that complete the BUILD program will graduate form high school. Of these students, 95% of them finish college. I encourage all of you to visit the website and do more research on how BUILD is making a difference in the community. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed…

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in 2012 Danny Vieira


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