Earlier this week a small group of returning buildOn students to our afterschool youth service programs in Chicago attended a Leadership Summitt at our midwestern office. The summit focused on public speaking skills and recruitment strategies – ways to effectively articulate their experience in buildOn and how to involve other students in community service. The high schoolers watched a TED talk given by William Kamkawmba, the famous Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (and also the resident of a village in Malawi where buildOn constructed a school), wrote poems and speeches about what buildOn means to them, and engaged in a number of other confidence and people skill-building activities.
Many students enjoyed authoring “I am” poems, rhythmic collections of detail about themselves and their work in buildOn. Kamel Yousfi went on a school building trip to Malawi with buildOn last year, and turned in the following poem:
I am…loud and peaceful,
I am…Algeria, Africa,
I am…Malawi, Algeria, London, and Germany,
I am…French fries,
I am…building a school in Malawi in 2011,
We see…some people getting taken advantage of in poor places,
We believe…that we can better the world.
We fight…to make the world a better place.