In the small African country of Senegal, over half the population of adults are illiterate. Contributing to this epidemic of illiteracy is the government’s miniscule 1% funding towards public education. Despite these setbacks, many new schools are being built every year with the help of non-profit charitable organizations like buildOn.
buildOn was founded in 1991 and is now a nationally recognized organization known for giving children educational opportunities while at the same time teaching American youth how they can have a positive impact both locally and globally.
buildOn’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education of the community.
President Nicole Daly, a senior, has been instrumental in the establishment of buildOn in the high school. She is excited about creating an outreach program that benefits local students and children abroad.
“At the Model United Nations conference in NYC this past March, the CEO of buildOn, Jim Ziolkowski, was the keynote speaker,” Daly said. “He inspired me with his amazing stories from his experiences around the globe and his buildOn mission.”
This mission involves raising enough money to fund an expedition to build a school in a third-world country.
“Our current mission as a club is to raise $30,000 so that we can go to Senegal as a team and build a primary school,” Daly said.
Not only is the club’s mission to improve lives in third-world countries, but it is also to improve the local community by volunteering at local events and projects.
buildOn allows students to embrace their full potential in school through community service not only locally, but globally. With 95% of students who have participated in the buildOn movement graduating high school in America, buildOn has a huge impact on the lives of students across the country.
“The buildOn mission is a twofold mission,” Daly said. “Our first objective is to engage in community service and break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy locally. The second objective is to raise the $30,000 to build the school for a village in Senegal.”
While $30,000 seems like a lot of money, Daly believes that if buildOn has enough committed members, it will not be a difficult amount to raise. The donations that are collected will be monitored through buildOn’s donation section of their website.
“It’s great because we get so much support from buildOn from a fundraising standpoint,” Daly said. “We will solicit donations from businesses and individuals and plan fundraising events and campaigns to accomplish our goal of financing a primary school.”
buildOn is a new club to the school, having been created within the current school year. There has been deep thought and planning since March from all of the elected members of buildOn.
buildOn is a club that is open to anyone who enjoys community service. Although the club reaps many benefits for the students, it is a time-consuming and challenging club.
“Because we can only take a limited amount of people to Africa, we can only take the members who are very committed and involved throughout the school year., Daly said. “We do hope that anyone who would like to help the buildOn movement with our endeavors does so.”
Students who cannot commit to buildOn are welcome to contribute money to the website or participate in one of their numerous events.
Information about buildOn nationally can be found at www.buildon.org.
Hasley is optimistic about the future of buildOn and enjoys seeing a group of students doing something for the community. “As their supervisor, I would definitely like to see them raise the $30,000,” Cynthia Hasley said. “I really enjoy working with students who seek out opportunities do something for someone else around the local and global community.”