2022 Constructive Leadership Awards

During one of the most crucial moments in buildOn’s history, Jim Parke stepped up to lead. As the CFO of GE Capital during buildOn’s first year, Jim Parke was instrumental in forging the vital partnership between buildOn and GE that has grown for over thirty years. The buildOn Gala gave us the opportunity to award buildOn’s highest honor — The Jim Parke Constructive Leadership Award — to one outstanding buildOn student and four other honorable mentions.

As a way of honoring his legacy, we have created the Jim Parke Constructive Leadership Award. This award is given to the student who has significantly impacted their peers, school, and community through a commitment to service, collaboration, and leadership. The following U.S. students represent the key principles of Constructive Leadership: Empathy, Courage, Resilience, Passion for the Possible, and Solidarity.

2022's National Award Recipient Jeremiah White

Mott Hall High School, The Bronx, 398 Hours of Service!

Inspired by his older sister’s involvement with buildOn, Jeremiah jumped right into buildOn during his freshman year and was eager to serve his community. As his school’s buildOn Youth Ambassador, he promotes the benefits of buildOn and service to his peers, offers his guidance and support, and is always promoting upcoming service projects with his peers.

Check out the inspiring words Jeremiah shared when accepting the 2022 Constructive Leadership Award:

Good evening! My name is Jeremiah White, and I’m so excited to be here tonight to accept this incredible honor. 

This award means so much to me. While I’m grateful for the recognition of my hard work and determination, I’m most excited about the potential for this award to lift up my community––this city we all cherish. This place that thrives when we lift each other up. 

buildOn ignited this spark in me to help the less fortunate, and to heal this beautiful planet that we all depend on.

That’s why buildOn and service are so important to me. When we serve, we’re sharing our love, hope, and understanding with our neighbors. Service is about helping those who can’t help themselves. It’s about lifting them up when all hope is lost. It’s about loving them when they can’t love themselves. I believe deep in my heart that it’s what God is compelling me to do because he said, 

“You shall love the lord your god with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

This is what a better world looks like to me––one where we look out for each other. Where, instead of disregarding and disrespecting those who are less fortunate, we really see them and lift them up with love. 

Believe it or not, I never would have done any of this if it wasn’t for my sister Amanda. It was a blessing to have an older sibling who could guide me on what to expect later on in life. I am so grateful to her for leading me here. 

Being in this room tonight, with so many people who really care and want to help, gives me hope. We are all united, and together, we can really make a difference. 

Thank you!

Congrats to all of our 2022 Constructive Leadership Awards Nominees:

Camila Student Photo

CAMILA ALVEREZ – buildOn Boston

CASH High School, Boston regional recipient, 61 Hours of Service! Camila joined buildOn last year as a freshman and immediately took charge as a leader. She quickly sought more opportunities within the program and was one of the first students to get involved once in-person service resumed. As a member of the Student Leadership Committee, Camila attended as many buildOn activities as she could and even led activities and designed a project making Easter lunch baskets for the unhoused.

Estefany Student Photo

Estefany Sanchez – buildOn Chicago

Curie High School, Chicago regional recipient, 173 Hours of Service! Estefany (photographed holding apples during food drive) has grown professionally and personally since joining buildOn during her freshman year and is now serving as the president of her high school’s buildOn Leadership Team. She takes the lead at every service project and program meeting, and is always willing to take on more tasks if it means the success of her team. “The reason why I love buildOn so much,” Estefany says, “is because I’m able to do service with people who have the same desires to help our community as much as possible, and give back to those who are most in need.”

Sophie Student Photo

Sophie Tran – buildOn Oakland

Oakland High School, Oakland regional recipient, 203 Hours of Service! Sophie Tran joined buildOn her freshman year at Oakland High School and quickly became nominated as a leader within the program. A courageous act for an underclassman! When it comes to improving and growing the buildOn program at Ohigh, Sophie has been pivotal in helping to strategize and plan programming for the 2022–2023 school year. “Service matters to me because I saw a lot of homelessness growing up,” says Sophie. “I felt bad because I never had any money to give them, so I looked for other ways to help. Service gives me the opportunity to address those concerns and give back.”

Miah Student Photo

Miah Gill – buildOn Detroit

Renaissance High School, Detroit regional recipient, 52 Hours of Service! Miah Gill (photographed on right during park clean-up project) is a natural leader among her peers, and embodies all five of the Constructive Leadership Principles. Miah’s passion for the possible is the reason she joined buildOn and recruited peers for summer programming this year. When she has an idea for serving her community, she’ll stop at nothing to see the project through. “Participating in buildOn opens the door of opportunity to better advance and enhance my community,” says Miah. “But it also gives me the opportunity to help others become engaged.”