Celebrating BUILD NYC’s First Graduating Class of Seniors

We graduated our first cohort of BUILD seniors this June. It was no small feat to ensure that 100% of them graduated on time, particularly during this tumultuous moment in our history. Our students continue to weather multiple storms including a pandemic, racial injustice, and an uncertain fall semester, yet they remain undeterred in planning for the future and staying optimistic.


During our virtual graduation, we celebrated our BUILD students in grand style. BUILD’s CEO Ayele Shakur, NY Knicks alum Charles Smith, and BUILD NYC’s ED Chymeka Olfonse and Senior Program Manager Cindy Pineda shared inspirational messages as did our principals and teachers. Students thanked school and BUILD staff members, especially Cindy known as their BUILD mom. Students also shared shoutouts to fellow classmates and reflections on the impact of their BUILD experience and the friendships made.


Bryan Gonzalez, graduate of Bronx Engineering & Technology Academy, remarked that during his four years at BUILD his teammates and mentors became his family. “Life will move on but the memories are the one thing I am most grateful for.”  Bronx Career & College Prep’s Eveyelisa Lopez so eloquently asserted as she addressed her peers, “You, me, we are the future, and we will strive and change the world.”


The ceremony was quite moving. Thanks to our BUILD partners for making the evening a memorable one. NY Knicks Public Announcer, Mike T. Walczewski aka Wally introduced each student as if they were entering Madison Square Garden right before a game. Corporate partner, JPMorgan Chase sent each graduate JBL GO speakers and thanks to Apax Digital, all graduates received a new laptop!


We are so proud of our next generation of leaders and look forward to supporting them in their future endeavors.


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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.