Ayele Shakur is the CEO of BUILD.org and brings over three decades of experience as an innovator in urban education. Founded in 1999, BUILD is a national nonprofit whose mission is to use entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth from under-resourced communities to build career success, entrepreneurial mindset, and opportunity. BUILD helps students become the CEO of their own lives. The program serves 8,000 students annually reaching 101 cities across the United States.
Prior to BUILD, Ayele was President and CEO of the Boston Learning Center. A veteran classroom teacher, Ayele taught for eleven years in the Los Angeles area and in the Boston Public Schools, and co-authored the book Boost School Performance – A Parent’s Guide to Better Grades Fast.
Ayele received the 2021 Hall of Fame Award for educational excellence presented by the National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE). She is also the recipient of the 2012 Boston Celtics Heroes Among Us Award and the 2007 Boston Children’s Museum’s Great Friend to Kids Award. From 2014-16, she served as Chairwoman for the Boston NAACP Education Committee. She is a 2017 Barr Fellow, a distinguished group of outstanding nonprofit leaders in Boston, and in 2018 became part of the GK100 Most Influential Black Bostonians. From 2015 to present, she has co-chaired the Opportunity and Achievement Gaps Task Force for the Boston Public Schools, which is an appointment by the Boston School Committee. She also served as an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Equitable Futures Initiative.
Ayele is a motivational speaker whose writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, The Hill, WBUR, Commonwealth, and Entrepreneur Magazine. A native of Boston, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Boston University and a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
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.