The online news source for Prince George High School.



BuildOn Brings Change to Village’s Educational Opportunities


A train, a plane, and over 4,000 miles separate Prince George County from the costal African nation of Senegal, the destination of the local buildOn chapter’s first international trek. When graduates Will Bonnell, Madison Kirkland, and Nicole Daly as well as Senior Tyneisha Griffin arrived in the Senegalese village, the quartet was immersed into a totally new culture.

“[The experience] broke the stereotypes. It redefined what a third world country is to me. When you look around you don’t notice the poverty. Everyone is making strides to develop. I wish that was something that was portrayed in the media,” Griffin said.

The group interacted with the locals often by taking part in traditional African customs as well as sharing a few American ones, however the primary mission of the group was to present the children in Senegal with new education opportunities. During the 10 day excursion the chapter members successfully built a brand new school for primary education.

“I hope that the school we built there will be a motive for everyone. I really want the school to inspire people to do other things through education,” Griffin said.
Now three months after the trek, club members are hoping to continue buildOn’s mission to be a sustainable catalyst for change.

“I hope to get more people interested in the message of buildOn and to realize that education means a lot in our country too, not just [others],” Griffin said.

buildOn’s local chapter is looking to continue making a difference overseas, but is taking a new approach targeted toward communities on our shores. For the new school year buildOn will be launching after school programs and after school tutoring as well as raising money to provide college scholarships to those that are in need here in Prince George County, all of which is to keep with the mission that originally attracted Griffin to buildOn.

“Once I learned about the message that at my age they were willing to give me so much responsibility to raise funds to build a school,” Griffin said “It gives you confidence to do anything you can no matter what age you are.”

In only its second year as a school club, the organization is hoping to beat the sophomore slump and build on its success from the first year. In the coming months the community can expect buildOn to host a series of new events to raise funds.

“[We] definitely want to do the 5K again and get involved with corporate businesses to get them more involved,” Griffin said

“Also Gizmobile drive, a yard sale, and do a fundraiser to benefit a local non-profit like the food-bank or an animal shelter.”

While the main goal of buildOn’s local chapter will be to bring better educational resources to those living closer to home, a portion of the proceeds from the groups fundraising will go toward hopes of taking another trek.

“[We’re going to] Haiti or Nicaragua. Mainly because a lot of students study Spanish and it would be interesting for students to communicate with a person who speaks the language fluently,” Griffin said “[I want people to know] there is some much more to a developing country than poverty.”

More to Discover