Launched in 1999

“As the flagship BUILD region, BUILD California showcases that dreaming big, working hard and persistence is in all of us.”.


Students Served




Youth Businesses


Teachers Trained


A student’s opportunity is too often limited by their zip code, race and class.

the build story

The BUILD program was founded in the Bay Area in 1999, and now serves over 1,500 students annually throughout the state of California, equipping them for college, career and life success. BUILD partners directly with schools and integrates our curriculum into existing Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways to help students develop and run their own small businesses, ultimately delivering content that enriches students’ high school experience in profound ways. Our program prepares students for postsecondary education as well as the rapidly changing needs of the 21st century workforce. BUILD showcases that dreaming big, working hard, and persistence are in all of us.


Through our 25 year history, BUILD California has been dedicated to creating systemic change in the educational system. As we move forward, we will continue to inspire and empower under-resourced students to achieve their full potential and help build a brighter, more equitable and interconnected society.


BUILD Founded in East Palo Alto

BUILD, founded by Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, launches as dropout prevention program inspired by four high school students in East Palo Alto.

Oakland Program Launched

BUILD launches programming in Oakland

Los Angeles Program Launched

BUILD launches in Los Angeles through partnership with LAUSD CTE pathways


Yazmin, an Oakland BUILD alum shares her experiences on how she is preserving, maintains her hope, and emotional balance through COVID-19.


Team Connect

Meet Team Connect, formerly known as Berry Inc., a group of brilliant young women creating ways for family members to stay connected with one another during the pandemic.

Ises Roopnarine

Ises Roopnarine, a 2018 BUILD Oakland graduate, shares how BUILD inspired her to seek change and dream big: “We have the power and strength to do whatever we desire.”

updates & events.

the build greater california team.



1111 Broadway, Oakland CA 94607

mailing address

PO Box 3316
Redwood City, CA 94064-3316



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.



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.