Walk in Their Shoes was officially released on Tuesday, September 17th. The following day buildOn team members along with more than 100 buildOn students took over New York City to celebrate the launch of the book. Walk in Their Shoes focuses on the story of buildOn CEO and Founder Jim Ziolkowski, and the powerful stories of people who overcome incredible odds to make change. The book shines a spotlight on the thousands of young students who have decided to step up to make a difference in their communities and also communities around the world in developing countries.
We´re very thankful for all of the generous support of our partners. General Electric, Deutsche Bank, New York Stock Exchange, Frankie Grande, Thomson Reuters, and the TODAY Show have shown tremendous encouragement for Jim Ziolkowski, buildOn, and Walk in Their Shoes.
First book signing at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank kicked off the day supporting the very first book signing of Walk in Their Shoes. Over 500 Deutsche Bank employees came out to learn about buildOn and have their book signed personally by Jim Ziolkowski. Thank you to the generous employees of Deutsche Bank who also made donations to buildOn during their lunch hour!
Ringing the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange
After the book signing, everyone met at the New York Stock Exchange where Jim Ziolkowski, along with 100 buildOn students, were set to ring the closing bell at 4pm. Everyone gathered in the NYSE boardroom beforehand where the excitement grew even larger. Keith Sherin, chairman and CEO of GE Capital, and Erich Mauff, Head of Capital Markets and Treasury Solutions N.A., at Deutsche Bank, were also there to accompany Jim Ziolkowski and the students to close out the day. The closing bell is broadcast to over 100 million people, and on September 18th, the stock market closed at a record high.
Times Square Promotions- Street Performance and Jumbotron
At Times Square even more buildOn students joined us for a street performance led by Frankie Grande; an actor, producer, dancer, singer and Broadway performer. Everyone danced to ¨Put Your Hearts Up,¨ a song by Frankie´s sister and pop star, Ariana Grande. Afterwards, students went out full of energy and supplied with signs to spread the word about buildOn. Many thanks to Thomson Reuters for donating the large jumbo-trons in Times Square to promote buildOn and the release of Walk in Their Shoes!
Closing book launch party hosted by Thomson Reuters and specially invited guest NBC´s Lester Holt
The busy day ended with a formal cocktail book launch party at Thomson Reuters. There the many supporters of buildOn attended and Jim Ziolkowski gave his personal thanks to the key individuals that helped him along the way. Frankie Grande performed a song for the audience and Cake Boss donated a cake for the attendees. Towards the end of the party, NBC´s Lester Holt interviewed Jim about his long journey with buildOn.
Featured on the TODAY Show
On Thursday, Sept. 19 Jim Ziolkowski and buildOn was featured in the TODAY Show during the 8am hour. The segment covered Jim´s history and passion for helping inner-city students and communities in developing countries around the world. The segment shined a spotlight on buildOn students from Banana Kelly high school in the South Bronx. Through their involvement in the buildOn Afterschool Program, students were more likely to graduate and go on to college and become leaders in their communities. Some students even go on to build schools in developing countries and help inspire change in other communities.