Meet the Cool Cucumbers – buildOn’s New Alumni Facilitators
In the fall of 2020, we launched our buildOn Alumni Facilitator Program. The goal was to provide buildOn alumni a paid opportunity to gain valuable work experience, learn key leadership skills, and lead buildOn partners, students, and staff through impactful service. We are proud to report that since its inception this program has grown in size, and we are extra proud to officially announce our next cohort of alumni facilitators. Below are the Spring/Summer 2021 buildOn Alumni Facilitators – also known as The Cool Cucumbers!
Hello! My name is Crystal Bach and I use she/her pronouns. I graduated from Oakland High in 2019 and I am currently majoring in sociology at University of California Santa Barbara. I have been with buildOn since 2016, my sophomore year in high school. I have continued to stay involved because as someone who has been greatly impacted by my time with buildOn, I believe it is important to continue this cycle of service and goodness!
Hello everyone! My name is Leila Tazi. I'm a proud Harry S Truman High School Alumni Class of 2020. I’ve been involved with buildOn since my freshman year of high school, and I stayed involved for the community. A memorable service experience was volunteering at a hospital and writing letters to sick patients. A woman was very touched by one of my letters and she prayed with me. It really resonated with me, just how much of an impact I can truly make.
My name is Michael Nguyen and my pronouns are He/Him. I’ve been in buildOn for 5 years now. I graduated from Harry S. Truman High school in June of 2020, I attend Hostos Community College. buildOn has helped me so much throughout highschool. I know more and developed skills such as speaking or leadership skills. I’ve met so many amazing people through service that I otherwise wouldn’t have met. It’s also a great way to explore your city and most importantly it’s heartwarming to see the faces of the people I’m serving.
Hi, my name is Khadijah Cham. I am currently a college student and have been involved in buildOn for 5 years. My favorite color is blue and I love all kinds of history. I’m actually funny once you get to know me.
Hi, I'm Jessandra SantiagoI. I have been with buildOn for 5 years, I started in my freshman year of high school. I was a part of the Bridgeport buildOn and I am now going to college in Pennsylvania for my nursing degree. My favorite color is teal.
Hi, my name is Adrianna Rodriguez, my pronouns are she/her. I have been with buildOn since my sophomore year in high school. I have stayed involved with buildOn because I enjoy serving my community.
My name is Cheyenne Martinez. I went to The Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice. I'll be going on my 6th year with buildOn. I stay involved with buildOn even after high school because I love making a difference in the world, even if it's in little ways in a few people's lives. My favorite projects are the environmental/nature ones. Fun fact: I breed reptiles and felines.
Hi! I'm Donna Fernandez, I'm from Oakland, CA and I graduated from Oakland High School Class of 2020 and I have been a part of buildOn since my freshman year. I am currently a first-year student at UC Davis majoring in Environmental Science & Management. I decided to join buildOn because it was a great way to meet people and work towards improving our home city as a team!
I’m Gladys Ramos. My pronouns are She/Her. I graduated from Benito Juarez Community Academy in 2019. I have been involved with buildOn for about 4 years and decided to continue to be involved because I enjoy working along with other students who also like serving their community. My most memorable service project has been Lunches of Love because I got the opportunity to distribute food to the homeless across my city.
Hello, my name is Lawrence Artis and I have been volunteering with buidOn since 2015. I Graduated from school of tourism and hospitality in 2019. Reasons why I joined buildOn came from a hospital visit which a buildOn student actually came and gave me advice which led me here instead of jail. My favorite service project is Keen where I work with disabled kids. Running, playing games and even drawing so their parents have a break to rest. I currently attend Borough Manhattan community college and major in computer science. I wish to continue to serve my community in any way I can.
Hello Everyone! My name is Alma Rodriguez (she/her) and I am currently finishing my third year at UC Berkeley where I am majoring in International Relations. I was born and raised in Oakland, CA where I graduated from a small high school named Coliseum College Prep Academy in 2018. While in high school, I have been involved with buildOn for over 3 years where I got the opportunity to participate in TREK to Nicaragua in 2017.
My name is Daniela Prado. My pronouns are she/him/they. I graduated from ARISE High School and currently I am a Fourth Year at UC Davis and will be graduating June. I have been a part of buildOn from my Junior year of high school and have loved it ever since. Funny story. The reason why I joined was by being a great friend and signing up to be in Trek so that was my first service experience and I stuck to buildOn throughout the years. My favorite service was Trek. Trek was in Haiti.
My name is Gabriela Ojeda, pronouns (She/Her/Hers). My high school had three pathways, buildOn was included in the social justice pathway. I was assigned to the business pathway, but had a huge desire to be involved in my community, so I reached out to buildOn and joined. I Graduated in 2019 from Coliseum College Prep Academy in Oakland, CA and I am Currently attending the University of California, Berkeley studying Public Health. My most memorable service experience was during one of the distributions of care kits to the homeless, we had run out of food to give out, so I got the opportunity to make a supply run with my peers, so that we could get more. Returning back to the spot, I could just feel the sense of relief of us bringing more supplies to help them. It just showed me that food insecurity was a huge problem among the homeless. I continue to participate in buildOn because I love giving back to my community and being able to witness the smiles on people’s faces including those of my peers is amazing.
My name is Malia Johnson. I graduated from Fremont High School in 2020. I am currently a First-year architect major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I decided to join buildOn because, during my last year of high school, I realized I had been so focused on school, I hadn’t done much community service. So, I decided to be more active, and ever since, community service has become something I love to do, especially with buildOn. My favorite project so far is my first Immersion experience. Within this immersion project, I and a few fellow students were able to partner with Salesforce employees to host various service projects and activities such as Bingo at a local senior home and a carnival for elementary students at a local charter school.
My name is Jenie Galicia, my pronouns are She/Her/Hers and I became a part of buildOn during my freshman year of high school. I graduated from Oakland High School in 2020 and now I attend the University of California, Davis where I am studying Computer Science! I am interested in creating diversity in the field of computer science and making technology accessible and user-friendly for everyone. A unique service experience that I've had was when I went on Trek to Guatemala in the summer of 2019. On this trip, I learned about the value of education. I continue to participate in buildOn because being a part of this program during high school guided me into becoming confident in myself. It also gave me many opportunities to meet wonderful people who I still connect with to this day. Furthermore, I create positive impacts in the communities around me by working with buildOn. The people at buildOn believe in me and I believe in the mission of buildOn!
Hi, my name is Schneida Louissaint. I was born and raised in Haiti and joined buildOn my freshman year of high school. I love to serve my community and help others.
Hi, I'm Cheyanne Jackson I'm a recent graduate from Laguardia Community College and have been with buildOn for almost 5 years. During the months of quarantine I spent most of my time creating my own theatre company with fellow friends from college. With this opportunity at buildOn, I hope to make a change with my friends and mentors.
Hi everyone! My name is Angie Rosa and I’m a ’20 graduate from the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. As a member of buildOn, I participated in Trek, the buildOn Leadership Academy, 36 Hours, my school’s buildOn leadership board and community service. I am now a first-generation student at Boston College double majoring in International Studies and Finance / Managing for the Social Good. I aspire to go into Corporate Social Responsibility and am considering law school. Service has always been a very essential part of my life and is definitely something that I’ve missed since the pandemic. I am super excited to be joining the US Immersions Team as an Alumni Facilitator.
Hello everyone! My name is Helen Neundorff, my pronouns are she/they, and I've been with buildOn since 2016. I graduated from Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics. I'm currently a freshman at CUNY Lehman with Environmental Science as my major. buildOn has helped me become the person I am today; it gave me the ability to serve in a variety of ways, and become a part of so many close-knit communities. buildOn allowed me to explore both as a leader and as a person, and I continue to grow more with each service event. I continue to serve with buildOn because I recognize the immense impacts they have, and I want to be a part of that impact for as long as I can.