Bianca, buildOn Boston student

Students on Trek: Meet Bianca from Boston

This summer, we’re fundraising to send six buildOn U.S. students on a life-changing Trek to build a school in one of our partner countries. Continue reading to learn more about Bianca’s story and how Trek would impact her life.

Bianca was originally born in Jamaica but moved to the Bronx, New York when she was in middle school. Then in the summer of 2021, when she was in the 8th grade, she arrived in Boston where she’s now a rising senior at C.A.S.H. high school.

In her freshman year, Bianca’s guidance counselor told her that students needed to complete community service to graduate. At the same time, she noticed some of her friends staying after school in the library and she got curious. Turns out, they were volunteering with buildOn and that’s when she decided to get involved.

Bianca at C.A.S.H. High School in Boston, MA.

One of her first service projects is also one of her favorites. Around Valentine’s Day, she made cards with buildOn to send to shelters for the unhoused and community members at her new school. 

Bianca also says that adapting to a new school and a new city was really difficult, but buildOn helped her transition. “It was a completely different environment with different people, and I felt really homesick the first month. I was really missing New York,” she shares. “At the same time, I was learning more about Boston, meeting new people, and getting used to the weather changes which are very interesting!” She laughs and adds, “I love Boston now. It’s a great city, the vibes are great, and the strangers around you are like family.”

She also shares that her Engagement Specialist, Colleen Paxton, made her much more comfortable with meeting new people and getting settled in her new home.

Bianca at service with her Engagement Specialist Colleen Paxton.

Bianca has never traveled outside North America, so she’s looking forward to going on Trek to Senegal this summer. 

“I’m really excited not only to meet new people and see a new culture, but mainly because I’ll be able to be part of building a school,” says Bianca. “It makes me feel so fulfilled. The biggest thing in my family is education and our motto is ‘education is the key to success.’” She adds, “Being able to give back to those who don’t have that much is a beautiful thing. I’m so excited to be a part of it.” 

At first, her parents were a bit skeptical about having their daughter travel to an entirely different continent. But when they met Erving, her U.S. Trek Specialist, they knew they wanted her to be a part of this experience. 

“Being able to give back to those who don’t have that much is a beautiful thing.”


“There are some things I’m scared of, but I want to look at the bigger picture,” says Bianca. “I want to help so many people, especially young girls. This school is going to be fifty-fifty boys and girls. Women lack opportunities in certain places in the world, and I’m excited to be part of something where young girls have the chance to learn something. It’s really inspiring.” 

Help Bianca build a school this summer in a country with high rates of poverty and illiteracy by making a gift today.