Supporting BUILD
1 min read

Supporting BUILD

BUILD is a nonprofit that supports high school students from underserved communities through entrepreneurship for college and career success.

In December, I listened to and evaluated a startup pitch in Sequoia High School. Prior to the pitch, the co-founders shared a deck that detailed the product’s manufacturing process, market research, go-to-market strategy, and projected unit economics. After a ten minute pitch and some Q&A, I gave the team feedback through a scorecard that ranked the plan and its ability to achieve the stated targets. The co-founders are only 15 years old.

During my time in San Francisco, I volunteer and sit on the Associate Board for BUILD, an entrepreneurship program that prepares students from underserved communities for college and career success, because I am constantly amazed by how young students can launch businesses and earn valuable skills including problem solving, communication and self-management. Coming from a relatively underserved community myself, I understand the importance of having mentors who can guide you in academics and a career path. By actively supporting students from under-resourced communities through mentorship, I firmly believe we can bridge communities and promote diversity and social action.

At BUILD, our students launch real businesses in ninth grade and launch into the world as CEOs of their own lives. We’re using entrepreneurship to create a more equitable and interconnected society. Over 1.2 million students drop out of high school each year in the U.S. Approximately 70% of low-income students graduated on time, compared to 90% of non-low-income students. Of those who dropped out, they are not qualified for 90% of U.S. jobs. Over the past 20 years at BUILD, we have had 96% of our students graduate high school on time and 81% of students (which is 53% higher than low-income peers) enrolled in a 4-year school.

In March, we will be hosting Ayesha Curry as our 2020 Pitch Prize Honoree at BUILD’s 21st Anniversary Gala on March 27th in San Francisco. Curry will join our list of past Pitch Prize winners: Jack Dorsey, Aaron Levie, Brian Chesky, Ben Silbermann, Marissa Mayer, Katrina Lake, and Reid Hoffman. Our emcee will be Baratunde Thurston, who is a TV host, activist and producer. I would welcome anyone who is interested in joining and supporting such an impactful organization!

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