“I don’t think I need to go to college,” said Honeya, a BUILD student, to her mentors.
Mentors Ashley and Pallavi were alarmed. BUILD uses entrepreneurship and experiential learning to motivate students and help them graduate high school and get accepted to college. This is the mission that Ashley and Pallavi signed up for. So when some of their students were giving up on the idea of college, they knew they needed to do something special.
They decided to arrange a couple of field trips for their team, ReJean. The student-run business makes handbags and clutches out of recycled denim. The first trip was a selling event at Deloitte. Rejean was a hit. In fact, they sold out their entire inventory. The second trip was a visit to Google in Cambridge.
“Visiting Google gave me motivation for school,” Honeya said after the visit. “That’s how I now see myself in five years: Working at a company like Google.”
The girls were impressed with the fire pole that goes from the 5th floor to the 4th, the massage schedule, and at how the offices were fun and welcoming—not at all what they expected.
BUILD provides students with many corporate visits during their four years in the program, as well as college tours, including a week-long out-of-state tour. The goal is to broaden the horizons of students, most of whom are low-income students of color, and first generation to attend college. The heart of the program are the mentors. And mentors like Pallavi and Ashley, who go the extra mile to inspire and motivate their students, are the kind of dedicated volunteers that make BUILD successful.
At the end of the Google visit, Honeya turned to her Google host and said, “In a couple of years I will be applying to be an intern. Remember my face.”
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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