“buildOn was really something that impacted my life in high school for the greater good. It helped me when I went off to college; it gave me that endurance to just keep fighting. To keep moving on.”
– Amanda Perez, buildOn Alumna
The relationship between Amanda Perez and her mother had always been difficult. Amanda often lived with others, her grandmother or friends, while her mother focused on her own needs. Then, when Amanda was 14, she came down with severe pneumonia and was hospitalized. When she recovered she found out that while she had been fighting her illness; her mother had moved halfway across the world to the West Bank with her new husband. She didn’t even tell Amanda goodbye. Without a parent to support her, Amanda spent her high school years transitioning from one place to the next, sometimes living with family and friends, much of the time being on her own.