buildOn Detroit student Quincy

Students on Trek: Meet Quincy from Detroit

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. Keep reading to learn more about Quincy’s story and how Trek would impact his life.

Fun fact about Quincy? He’s been a buildOn student at two different high schools! While he’s always lived in Detroit, his family moved to a different neighborhood after his freshman year where he was already involved with buildOn. Fortunately, when he transferred to his new high school last fall, there was another buildOn program–and lots of service opportunities–waiting for him.

Quincy at service in his Detroit community.

Quincy is now a rising junior and already has his sights set on college. In fact, he recently  returned from a college tour through Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana where he says he learned a lot. Now he’s ready to shift gears and prepare for his upcoming Trek to Guatemala in August. 

While he heard about Trek during his freshman year, Quincy didn’t seriously consider it until his current Engagement Specialist Kyla encouraged him to sign up. He’s already attended some of his Pre-Trek Sessions where he’s learned more about his host country, what to expect on the construction site, and much more. The sessions even put his nervous mom’s mind at ease once she learned more about Trek from Kyla and how safe and enriching the program is.

Quincy is excited to make a global impact, and sees Trek as an extension of his service work in Detroit. As a child, he already recognized some of the challenges his city faced, including neglected fire hydrants in his community. 

“The area I grew up in had one fire hydrant on the block and it was very rusty. There was actually a fire that broke out and the firefighters couldn’t pull the knob off. Everyone was okay, but the house burnt down,” Quincy remembers. Then, last fall, he had a full circle moment when he joined a buildOn service project to paint fire hydrants in Detroit. This time, firefighters came out to check them ahead of time and made sure they worked. Then Quincy and his fellow buildOn students took time during a Saturday afternoon to give nearly a dozen fire hydrants a fresh coat of paint. 

He was even interviewed by the local news and asked about why he decided to participate. 

“On the weekend you just chill. So I was like, ‘why not?’. Do something for the community and give back. You know, the thing for me is like bonding with people. It’s kind of hard for me to bond with people by myself, but you know this really connects us,” he said.

In addition to helping him become more active in his community, Quincy says buildOn has helped him in school as well.

Do something for the community and give back…It’s kind of hard for me to bond with people by myself, but you know this really connects us.”


“Kids at my school, they’re smart but they don’t apply themselves. They need motivation to apply themselves,” he says. “Even myself, I struggle, but it’s just a motivation factor. When I have my talks with Kyla, it makes me feel better and makes me want to get something done.”

Quincy and his buildOn peers volunteer at a local animal shelter.

Quincy believes that getting an education is really important. “Some people just don’t want to take things seriously. But school, that’s a big thing,” he shares. “I try to tell my peers that school, I know it seems boring, but to get a better chance in life you have to do these things.”

Help Quincy build a school in Guatemala this summer by making a gift today.