buildOn breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through education and community service.



For the past 23 years, buildOn has been working to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through education and through community service. Our work starts in the classrooms of U.S. inner city high schools where our staff engage and inspire 4,500 inner city youth to be positive change agents through community service in their neighborhoods and throug supporting global education. buildOn runs programs in some of the most challenging high schools in the Bay Area, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and Bridgeport. Inner city youth particpate in buildOn after school programs, earn about the problems in their own communities and abroad, and then design their own service projects to meet those needs. To date, buildOn inner city youth have contributed more than 1,250,000 hours of community service by working with elders, disabled people, veterans, children, and by cleaning up their own neighborhoods.

Internationally, buildOn partners with local ministries of education and parents living in remote villages in the developing world to build better primary schools for their children. Our methodology for international school construction is founded on the belief that parents are the most important actors in improving education for their children. buildOn is breaking ground on a new school every three days in Haiti, Nicaragua, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Malawi, and Nepal, and we have completed 618 primary schools that provide improved learning environments for more than 82,000 children and parents each day.


We bridge our international and domestic programs by bringing inner city youth over seas to help build schools. Students live with host famliies, work on school construction, and learn about life and culture in a rural village. We know these experiences are transformational for our inner city high school memebrs, and help us inspire 94% of the students in our programs to graduate from high school and go on to college.

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