“BUILD gave me confidence and belief. I learned to believe in my journey and my ability to succeed.”
We caught up with a BUILD Alum from California, Natasha Ram, to find out how she’s doing! She shared her insights and memories of how BUILD has helped her. Natasha went to East Palo Alto High School and went on to study Political Science and History at Notre Dame de Namur University. In 2016 she earned her JD from Valparaiso University School of Law.
Back in the Day: 2006
When asked if she remembers what business she was a part of while she was at BUILD, she said absolutely did. She started off in freshman year with a gift basket business model and later joined LuLu Tees, with her childhood friend Christina Holly, and her friend, Sesha. They made and sold t-shirts with their LuLu logo on them.
She shared her most memorable moments with us as well.
“I have many memorable moments with BUILD, I recall vividly going up to Page Mill Road and pitching our idea to some individuals at venture capital firm. It was such an amazing experience, standing in a conference room and pitching an idea. I cannot begin to imagine what those individuals saw, a group of teenagers from East Palo Alto dressed in their best, speaking so eloquently, with a vision and goal. I have many memories with my Mentor Enoch; he was truly an influential person during my time at BUILD. Another amazing memory I had was interviewing a new teacher for BUILD. We were allowed to interview candidates, and in the end, choose a person to hire. That was amazing, it made me understand how invested the program was to their students.”
We asked her if the six Spark Skills we embody at BUILD have stood out to her and helped her since she first learned them.
“I believe every student coming into BUILD has some amount of grit already within them, transforming that grit into something beneficial is a skill BUILD taught us. BUILD taught me to enhance and utilize all six Spark Skills. I could not have been successful in college and law school if it weren’t for these six skills: communication, collaboration, problem-solving, innovation, grit, and especially self-management, are all contributory factors to my success.”
Natasha has some great advice for BUILD participants:
“Having been through BUILD, my advice to current and future students is to trust BUILD. It’s so hard to trust other people, so difficult to put your belief into something and someone that you barely know. BUILD is worthy of your trust and you are worthy of its vision for you. I came in when BUILD was a small and new organization. I graduated with the program. BUILD showed me how loyal they were to me and in turn I allowed myself to become open to their lessons. All the people in BUILD never gave up on me.”
Life Today: 2018
Natasha is currently a Paralegal to a Senior Associate at D’Andre Law and loves her work. In terms of personal goals, she loves to cook and wants to perfect a Tonkotsu and Chicken Ramen broth as well as the ideal Kimchi.
We would like to extend our congratulations to Natasha! She is recently engaged and in the process of planning an intimate wedding. She lives in San Jose, California with her fiancé and dog.
“I have a happy and successful life and I know it would not have been this way if I did not have people so invested in my future when I was in high school. All those people and their belief in me pushed me to be here. I thank all of them.”
Thank YOU, Natasha, for sharing your story and being an inspiration for our current BUILD students!