Celebrating Service at the buildOn Bay Area Dinner

Hundreds of members of the buildOn Movement celebrated the impact of buildOn’s work on Friday, May 19th, at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco. The event raised $420,350 to support buildOn’s programs in San Francisco and Oakland.

buildOn Board Member Camilla Field welcomed guests to the celebration as the evening’s emcee and gave a special shoutout to the organizations who have partnered with buildOn to serve alongside our students in the Bay Area — including GE Digital, Jones Day, Sidley Austin, Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation, PwC, and McKinsey & Company. “Our students aren’t alone in serving,” Camilla said. “Across the Bay Area, individuals are joining forces with buildOn students by learning about their communities and serving hand-in-hand to create change.”


Above: buildOn Board Member Camilla Field emcees the buildOn Bay Area Dinner at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco.

Camilla introduced to the stage Flecshaney Jackson, a buildOn student leader from Coliseum College Prep Academy in Oakland, to share her inspirational story of service. “At buildOn, I get to be myself,” Flecshaney said. “I laugh so hard with my friends and the buildOn staff, who have become mentors, but also like brothers and sisters to me. I know I want to keep serving throughout my life. That’s what service means to me—healing.”


Above: buildOn student Flecshaney Jackson from Coliseum College Prep Academy in Oakland shares how service has impacted her life.

buildOn Founder and CEO Jim Ziolkowski followed with a look back at two-and-a-half decades of breaking the cycle and shared inspiring stories of buildOn students empowered by service and education. Following dinner, buildOn paid special tribute to our online fundraising partner Classy by recognizing their commitment to buildOn’s mission with the Global Impact Award. Classy has helped buildOn raise millions to construct schools in the world’s economically poorest countries and recently joined us on Trek. “This organization’s mission is to mobilize and empower the world for good,” said Camilla. “They did just that when they decided to raise money to build a school in Nepal with buildOn. Not only did they empower their team to give, but they also raised triple their goal, in total raising $120,000 for their school Trek.”


Above: Emcee Camilla Field pays tribute to Classy before presenting them with the Global Impact Award.

Jim Ziolkowski then welcomed Amnon Rodan, Chairman of Rodan + Fields, to the stage to speak about his recent 36 Hour immersion with buildOn and why it is so important to Rodan + Fields to be committed to the buildOn mission. “A big part of what we do at Rodan + Fields is create life-changing opportunities. That’s why partnering with buildOn made perfect sense,” Amnon said. “We both believe in the power that one empowered life can have on the world we live in. By bringing together our Consultants and the buildOn students, to complete side-by-side service, everyone learns empathy through engagement for our communities and ourselves.”


Above: buildOn Founder, President & CEO Jim Ziolkowski honors Rodan + Fields Chairman Amnon Rodan with an award for Rodan + Fields’ continued support and dedication to the buildOn mission.

Amnon Rodan then introduced his buildOn buddy from 36 Hours, buildOn student Lawrence Artis, who spoke about how serving with buildOn has helped him to overcome violence and distrust in his own community. Lawrence also spoke about what it meant to have the team members from Rodan + Fields come to his high school to serve alongside him and his classmates. “I would like to say to Amnon and everyone from Rodan + Fields, from all the buildOn students and me, we cannot thank you enough for visiting our school,” Lawrence said. “I always say that ‘buildOn is not an I thing, but a we thing.’ It means that you can’t make big changes alone, but when you work together, a lot can be done. Thank you for learning about our lives. I will never forget the 36 Hours we shared together.”


Above: buildOn student Lawrence Artis shares his buildOn story with the audience at the Warfield Theater.

The evening came to a close after a tremendous appeal and a strong “WE ARE BUILDON” cheer from all of the students and guests in attendance. Thank you to everyone who was a part of this momentous celebration!