In 2011, buildOn celebrated 20 Years of building a movement

2011 was an incredible year for buildOn. We celebrated our 20th Anniversary, developed strong new partnerships, and thanks to the passionate support of many individuals and corporations, reached even more students here at home and around the world.



American urban youth committed themselves to service in 138 buildOn afterschool service programs.

Through intensive local service like organizing activities for senior citizens, tutoring elementary school children, and serving meals to the homeless, buildOn program members have now contributed more than 900,000 service hours to their communities.

In 2011, 183 U.S. students traveled to construct schools for children with no access to education, discovering the value of education in their own lives along the way. Students from the South Bronx partnered with a community in rural Nepal to break ground on our 400th school. And last May, 95.5% of the seniors in buildOn programs were not only graduating high school, but going on to college.


Parents and grandparents in developing nations partnered with buildOn to construct 60 schools.

These villagers have now contributed nearly 850,000 volunteer work days to build 440 total schools, providing education for their own children and generations to come.

We now have adult literacy programs in Haiti, Malawi, Mali and Nepal. Through this program, both men and women are gaining fundamental numeracy and literacy skills. In Nepal all participants have passed state literacy exams, allowing them to get involved in their local economy and government like never before.

67,000 children and adults are educated in buildOn schools every day and in 2012 we will break ground on a school every 5 days, providing even more communities with access to education.



Our donations increased by 20% in 2011.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of many corporations, foundations, and individuals buildOn received more than $8.5 million to support our afterschool and school-construction programs.

British Airways became buildOn’s official Global Airline Sponsor and supported our work by flying 50 buildOn students from the U.S. to Malawi to build schools. Additionally, the British Airways team funded a school in Nicaragua and took a team of executives to break ground on the project.

Groupon, the online daily-deal site, promoted buildOn’s programs to its U.S. subscribers and funded two schools in Mali and five schools in Nepal.

Jessica Herrin, the CEO and founder of Stella and Dot, the global fashion accessories brand, also traveled to Nicaragua with members of her staff to help construct a school. The Stella and Dot Foundation supports buildOn’s work domestically and globally through the sale of the Stella & Dot Foundation bracelets and charms.

buildOn became a founding partner of Wetopia – the fun, free, new social game on Facebook. Players fund real-world projects with WeTopia, such as buildOn schools in Haiti, with the Joy points they earn by playing the game. Watch this video about a school fully funded by Joy in the village of Moline, Haiti.


We were recognized by the media.

In 2011 Ann Curry, co-anchor of NBC’s TODAY Show, joined buildOn as an honorary board member. She also hosted the Voices of a Generation panel at NBC’s Education Nation, where two buildOn students from Detroit shared their views on education in America.

The New York Times featured buildOn’s afterschool program at the Bronx Center for Science and Mathamatics and their trip to Mali. And our Founder and CEO Jim Ziolkowski was profiled on the CBS Evening News and the Big Ten Network.

For more stories about buildOn in the media, visit our press page.



We celebrated our 20th Anniversary.

Our 2011 buildOn Dinner was the prefect occasion to celebrate our work over the past two decades. The event was a huge success, raising $2.3 million – a buildOn event record!

The evening honoring Keith Sherin, Vice-Chairman & CFO of GE, and his wife Janet was attended by 840 supporters from across the country and raised 10% more than the previous event record set at last year’s Dinner.

Savannah Guthrie, of The TODAY Show, hosted the evening’s program, which featured two alumni of buildOn’s afterschool programs. Both Luis Alonso, a recent Bronx buildOn alumnus, and Haben Girma, a 2006 alumnus and current Harvard Law student, shared how buildOn has impacted their lives.

To see buildOn’s major milestones over the last 20 years visit our interactive timeline.



This is just the beginning.

The momentum is building and the movement is growing. Exciting things are happening everyday here at buildOn and we want you to be a part of it! Stay up to date on everything buildOn by following us on Facebook, Twitter or on our blog.

Posted February 16, 2012 in News, Uncategorized by buildOn

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2011 was an incredible year for buildOn. We celebrated our 20th Anniversary, developed strong new partnerships, and thanks to... http://www.buildon.org/2012/02/in-2011-buildon-celebrated-20-years-of-building-a-movement/

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