Raised in the South Bronx and placed in foster care before he entered his inner-city high school, Luis was statistically more likely to end up in jail than graduate. But instead of succumbing to the challenges he faced, Luis took control of his own life by helping others through buildOn. We described the first part of his incredible high school experience here.
For a student like Luis who had once received many of his meals at food pantries and soup kitchens, the opportunity to serve others in the same situation was nothing short of empowering.
“I had prior experience with soup kitchens myself while living with my father,” Luis said, “but I never expected to be on the other side of the line – serving food to people who were once in my predicament. The sheer amount of people who came gave me insight into the real problem of poverty, and made me feel grateful. I will never forget my experience there.”
Through buildOn, he had come full circle and was able to show others the generosity and respect that was given to him in some of his most difficult days. Through this act of service, and the many more he would complete with buildOn, Luis realized he had the power to make things better for others as well as himself.
Why do we believe urban youth like Luis can change the world? Because we see them do it every day.
Through buildOn’s afterschool program urban youth like Luis spend their afternoons, evenings and weekends serving others and learning they can make change in their world and in their own lives.