BUILDing Identity: How Tony Found His Inner-Strength

“As an alumnus of BUILD (Class of 2010), and now full time employee of this incredible organization, I am proud to support,program that uses entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth in under-resourced communities to build Career success, Entrepreneurial mindsets, and Opportunity. We are building an entrepreneurial mindset and skills for youth in communities that are underserved, overlooked, and underestimated.

At just 14 years old, I had the opportunity to develop my own student business with my classmates. I was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a mighty group of five. Our company was called Chocolate Rainbow Inc.—a T-shirt line for women to help boost their self-esteem. This program would ultimately allow me to think and act like an entrepreneur—skills that have served me very well as the entrepreneur and career professional I am today.” – Tony Shavers III

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Tony's Advice and Story:

A big part of personal discovery is being honest about the limits you’re allowing yourself to believe. This is all mindset. If you believe you can do it, you can. If you don’t believe you can do it, you’re also right. Whatever limitations you allow yourself to believe are what you’ll get. It sounds a little harsh, but it’s true! Once you get over the initial sting, you’ll realize what a gift this lesson is. It’s just like when I realized only Tony can make decisions for Tony. That means I’m responsible for the suffering I allow in my life, but also the joy! And no one can take that joy away unless I give them permission, just as no one can take away your belief in yourself. But it has to start with you.

You don’t need to have everything figured out to move forward. Finding your outlet might not always be a clear journey, but it is a fulfilling one. Start by building your self-confidence, and when you need to, ask for support from someone who can guide the experience! I feel so grateful to every client who has entrusted me with their book-writing journey, just as I feel grateful for everyone who has supported me on mine. Every person who clapped at a poetry reading or bought a CD; every teacher who encouraged my writing; every person who read my first book. And I feel grateful for you, reading this book right now!

Finding your outlet might feel like a solitary journey, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you share what you’re doing with just a few trusted people or start applying for speaking engagements around the country, know that your gifts belong. They matter. No one will be able to bring these skills to the world the way you can.

You are the asset!

Here I Stand: A Memoir

Rejection can take many forms. For Tony Shavers III, it took almost every form—from fighting for his life as a premature baby, to being bullied growing up, to his father’s absence and struggles with incarceration, to coming to terms with his sexuality without sacrificing his faith. Anytime things were going well, another trial was thrown his way, making Tony wonder if he’d ever feel comfortable in his own skin.
But there’s an opportunity hidden in rejection, for those willing to find it: resilience. With the help of his God-given creative-writing skills, Tony kept meeting his life and finding a way forward. His pen became a tool for healing. Tony wrote his way into a new relationship with the burdens of his name, found new boundaries with his father, and fully embraced his identity. With the hard-won confidence of someone who’s fought to cultivate self-love, this book chronicles one person’s life from a place of empowerment.

Tony Shavers III is vulnerably claiming where he stands, and everything it includes—the good, the bad, and the ugly. He’s inviting you along. Are you ready to meet him there?

To learn more about Tony Shavers III, you can visit him at and buy his book here.



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Download a Sample of Our Curriculum

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1. iPhone, iPad, Zoom and Loom are all choices of recording tools for their video presentation 
2. Record with both students and their presentation in view
3. Record horizontally for the best view of the students and their presentation
4. Follow Presentation Diagram to the Right


- Make eye contact with the camera
- Notecards may be used as cue cards
•Pro Tip: Notecards should avoid having a full script
- Even when you are not speaking, don’t forget the camera is still recording!
•Be aware of your body language while you and your business partners are speaking
- Everyone has an opportunity to speak
- Professional dress is encouraged
- Practice makes perfect
•Practice how you will transition from each speaker
•Project your voice when you speak​

Follow positioning format Above

Download a Sample of Our Curriculum

Fill out this form to receive a free sample of our curriculum and to receive occasional email updates on how to bring BUILD to your community.