The Education Crisis

Education is a basic human right

Yet those who need education the most – children living in poverty – are the least likely to attend and complete school.

In the U.S., 890,000 high school students drop out before graduating.

That’s a student dropping out of high school every 35 seconds.

Worldwide, nearly 750 million people are unable to read or write.

The Education Crisis for Students

Across the globe, students struggle just getting to school.

* Urban U.S. students are faced with hunger, violence and drugs in their communities and on their way to and from school.

* In developing countries, students have to walk miles to a school in a neighboring village. 57 million children of primary school age have no classroom access at all.

When they do get to class, students face more challenges.

* U.S. students attend crowded and crumbling schools with over-burdened teachers and non-existent enrichment programs.

* Students in the developing world are squeezed into dark and crumbling mud huts, or are taught under trees only when the weather permits.

The Crisis for Society

The education crisis has negative effects
on every part of society.

Economic Distress

Violence & Crime

Civic Disengagement

Struggling Communities

Our Work

We’re fighting the global education crisis at home and abroad.

U.S. Programs

buildOn’s service learning programs mobilize students in challenging urban areas to lift up their communities through intensive local service. We run service programs at 40 high schools in six US regions: Chicago, Detroit, New York, the Bay Area, Boston and Bridgeport, CT.

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International Programs

buildOn works in some of the poorest countries on the planet to build schools in villages that have historically had no adequate school structure.
To date we have built more than 1,351 schools in seven countries: Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Malawi, Nepal, Nicaragua and Senegal.

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5 Key Outcomes

buildOn improves students’ lives
and communities by helping students develop:

buildOn increases student engagement by creating safe environments where students are comfortable learning.

By improving their communities through service, students learn how to create change in their own lives.


buildOn helps students identify and address the needs of their communities and take control of their own lives.

Expanded Sense of Possibility

buildOn programs give students hope that they can create a better future for themselves and their neighbors.

Personal & Social Skills

buildOn students learn to respect themselves and others while gaining leadership and communication skills.

How You Can Help

Make a difference in your community and your world.

Build a Community

Use your passion to raise awareness of the education crisis and fundraise to help end it.

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Build a School

Gather friends and family, fundraise, and go to a developing country to build a school.

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Volunteer Your Voice

Share our story with your social network and add your voice to the buildOn movement.

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Join Us