In 2012, one million students in the U.S. didn’t graduate from high school. Students from low-income communities are at higher risk for dropping out and putting an often permanent pause on their education. BUILD works specifically to empower and engage these at-risk students to make an everlasting difference in their lives. And the impact is impressive.
You can recognize a BUILD student by their tenacity and by their grit. A BUILD student is strong. A BUILD student is creative.
BUILD students overcome obstacles every day at home, in school and in their community. They face challenges that most of us wouldn’t recognize on our worst days, and yet their confidence isn’t just resilient -- it evolves. With the support they receive from their BUILD mentors and their BUILD community of peers, these students are able to learn the necessary skills in communication, collaboration and self-management that will help them adapt to every challenge, graduate high school and succeed in college and beyond.
Seventeen years ago, four young men walked into the East Palo Alto Community Law Project and approached a recently graduated Stanford staff attorney with a brilliant idea: they wanted to sell their unique “One Hood” sweatshirts so they could make enough money to start a business and drop out of high school. The Skaden Fellowship staffer, Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, gave them a straight response: “I’ll help you start your business, if -- and only if -- you stay in school.”
Klahr, the CEO & Founder of BUILD, created BUILD as the innovative answer to the dilemma presented by those four young men many years ago. Young people want to make their own money and they want the independence it provides them. Starting a new business offers an invaluable opportunity to learn real-life professional skills needed for adulthood. But young people, especially those in low-income communities most vulnerable to higher rates of abuse and neglect, need to stay in school and need the support systems available in school programs.
BUILD has successfully partnered with over 20 schools across the nation to provide such support to 1,500 students across the Bay Area, Boston and Washington, DC. Through entrepreneurship based training, BUILD offers intentional instruction and mentorship from 9th through 12th grade to help these students develop the essential social, emotional and academic skills needed to graduate high school, enter and graduate college, and pursue a successful and independent adult life.
FGS&Co. is proud to feature BUILD and its efforts to help students find their voice, passion and will to succeed. To help create a better future for every student, enter code BUILD at checkout to automatically donate 25% of your purchase to support their mission.
Want to learn more about BUILD? Visit their website at: www.build.org
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