What We Do

Our College Preparation Program

Every day in the United States, close to 1,500 teenagers drop out of high school. Every day. In a year’s time, half a million young people will have dropped out of high school.

That’s equal to 13 sold-out games at Fenway Park. Every year.

More than half of the youth who drop out are African American or Latino or from low-income families and one half drop out before they make it to tenth grade. Eighty percent of dropouts quit because they’re bored – not necessarily because they can’t hack it – but because school is not engaging, and they have no evidence that education can transform their life or that of their friends. Most youth who drop out live in urban areas; in fact, there is an 18-percentage-point gap between urban and suburban graduation rates.

These statistics are unacceptable. Which is why BUILD targets disengaged, low-income youth in urban communities. Our four-year experiential learning program addresses the dropout epidemic head-on by drawing connections for young people between academics and career success. This is what makes school engaging and relevant and motivates students to succeed.

To date, 99 percent of BUILD seniors have graduated high school and 95 percent have been accepted to college—changing their life trajectories. Read more about our impact.

BUILD is building on its success. We began in 1999 serving just 4 students; now, we are working with nearly 1,200 students in Northern California, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Student Testimonials





E1-Alumni Program
(Why it works)

Entrepreneurs 1 (E1) – Freshmen:
Planning a Business

Entrepreneurs 1 (E1) - Freshmen: Planning a Business

Entrepreneurs 2 (E2) – Sophomore:
Running a Business

Entrepreneurs 2 (E2) - Sophomore: Running a Business

Entrepreneurs 3 (E3) – Junior:
Preparing for College

Entrepreneurs 3 (E3) - Junior: Preparing for College

Learn more about mentoring with BUILD!

In the Bay Area  |  In D.C.  |  In Boston

Download the mentor application and apply for the 2014-2015 academic year.


BUILD Headquarters: 2385 Bay Road •  Redwood City, CA 94063

T: 650.688.5840    F: 650.631.4990