Summer may be over, but at BUILD that means the buzz and excitement of a new school year. This is our fifth year and our first class—the Class of 2015— is off to college. Our first crop of alumni is loving college life at great schools like UMass, Suffolk, Bryn Mawr, Xavier, Bentley, Pine Manor, and College of Mount Saint Vincent. We are very proud of our first class of graduates and we can’t wait to see what they achieve!
A record 150 new 9th grade students have enrolled in BUILD, up from 100 last year. This year marks Year One of our five-year growth plan called Vision 2020. As part of the first phase of this growth plan, we added a fifth partner school: Dearborn STEM Academy in Dorchester. Dearborn joins our list of partner schools, which include Another Course to College, Jeremiah E. Burke High, Community Academy of Science and Health and Charlestown High. In addition, we expanded our program at Burke High by adding a second 9th grade class, marking the first time BUILD has had two classes in one school. As a result, this year we will serve more than 250 students with our unique youth entrepreneurship program.
BUILDers Chris, Jessica, Iverson, and Carlos at Dearborn STEM Academy.
We have also added several new faces to our staff, including a new Program Director, Jorge Santana. Jorge brings more than 15 years of experience and big plans to BUILD. He says, “high expectations and high touch” are the keys to helping students succeed. Prior to joining BUILD, Jorge was the Director of Program and Evaluation at Friends of the Children-Boston. He has worked for the Department of Children and Families, Boston Emergency Services Team, and SEIU. Jorge graduated from Brandeis University with a major in Sociology, received his Master of Social Work degree from Boston College, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He says he would not be where he is today without the support of several mentors throughout his life, and he is a strong believer in paying that forward. Welcome to BUILD, Jorge!
We are excited to officially welcome BUILD Boston's new Regional Executive Director, Betsy Neptune! Betsy comes to us with many years of experience as an executive leader and brings to BUILD wisdom and experience in entrepreneurship, economic development, coaching, team development, and nonprofit management.
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