buildOn Senior
Yearbook 2015

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Celebrating buildOn’s Graduating Seniors!

buildOn empowers urban youth to better their communities and themselves through service. With 93% of buildOn students graduating and going on to college with more than 150,000 hours of service contributed, we have a lot to celebrate:

Support the Class of 2015 and Future buildOn Grads!

Make a graduation gift to support buildOn Service Learning Programs and your donation will be matched until we reach $5,000!
A gift as small as $6 funds a day of service for a buildOn student.

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buildOn Senior Service Superlatives 2015

Meet a few of the standout graduating seniors who have excelled at bettering their communities, their world and themselves through buildOn!


Most Service Hours

Charmaine Henderson

Bronx, New York

“I feel like I’ve made a change for myself and others. Hitting 1,000 hours wasn’t my initial goal of joining buildOn. It is just more about who I am and showcases how much I really love giving back to my community. I barely even recognized how many hours I actually put in because this is who I am and buildOn helped me get there.”

Charmaine Henderson from Banana Kelly High School in the South Bronx leads the buildOn Class of 2015 with 1,000+ service hours – more than any of other student in buildOn’s six U.S. regions. Charmaine has devoted her high school years to service, volunteering locally doing everything from mentoring kids to working with disabled people, and serving internationally by building a school in Nicaragua. In this Q&A Charmaine reflects on her 1,000+ hours of service and how buildOn has impacted her life in high school and beyond… Read more >

Most Service Hours

Charmaine Henderson

Bronx, New York

Read Charmaine's Story

Children’s Champion

Daniel Luu

San Francisco, CA

“Tutoring made me feel like I was helping limit poverty. I learned from buildOn that education is a key to eliminating poverty around the world. (Kids) fall behind in their reading level because, oftentimes, no one reads to them at home. This puts them at a greater risk of dropping out of school… buildOn influenced me to understand that everything I do has a purpose and contributes to the community. I want a career where I know I’m doing the right thing. I want to be able to impact people and make the world a better place.

Daniel Luu started elementary school as a recent immigrant who only spoke Vietnamese, so he knows how it feels to struggle to learn to read and write. When buildOn gave him a chance to tutor children facing their own literacy challenges, he jumped at the opportunity to help kids struggling like he did. Read More…

Children’s Champion

Daniel Luu

San Francisco, CA

Read Daniel's Story

Promoter of Peace

Shaneen Bryant

Chicago, IL

“I think service can help end poverty and violence by bringing people together. I would like to see everyone getting along with each other and people not being scared to walk down certain blocks.”

When Shaneen Bryant noticed the violence and gang activity from her South Side Chicago neighborhood spilling into her high school, she used buildOn service to increase the peace at TEAM Englewood Academy. Shaneen will be starting a social work major at Chicago State University in the fall and will be the first in her family to attend college. She wants to focus on helping kids and teens and believes that service and social work can help solve the community’s biggest problems. Read more…

Promoter of Peace

Shaneen Bryant

Chicago, IL

Read Shaneen's Story

Blight Fighter

Robert Moss

Detroit, MI

With 25 square miles of abandoned property, Detroit could use more young people like Robert Moss. The graduating senior from Osborn College Preparatory Academy on is brimming with Detroit pride and is one of buildOn’s best blight fighters.

“People in this community should love where they’re from and take care of it,” Robert says. “When someone asks you where you’re from, you should say ‘Detroit!’ proudly. You shouldn’t say it like you’re ashamed of where you live.”

Robert has been a leader of buildOn Detroit’s work to board up, paint and beautify abandoned buildings and houses. Some of the buildings that buildOn students have worked on have sold recently, helping to lift the prospects of the entire neighborhood. Robert knows this service is essential not only to beautifying the city and redeveloping the Osborn neighborhood, but also to curbing the violence and poverty plaguing the city. Read more >

Blight Fighter

Robert Moss

Detroit, MI

Read Robert's Story

Legacy Leader

Brittney Dobbins

Detroit, MI

“You have younger kids that are going to have to grow up in the neighborhoods. And if they’re growing up in a bad environment, they feel like nobody cares and everybody is coming apart. “(Serving the community) shows them that all people can help and shows that there’s still people here that are doing good.”

With over 500 hours of service, Brittney Dobbins wants to leave a legacy for Detroit. Her older sister got her involved in serving with buildOn before she even started high school. Her two younger sisters who are also in high school are serving with buildOn, and they’re even bringing their sister who’s still in middle school to service. Read More…

Legacy Leader

Brittney Dobbins

Detroit, MI

Read Brittney's Story

Most Inspiring

Shateeka Knight

Bridgeport, CT

“Growing up I was tossed around, bullied and no one in my family even graduated from high school. I use that as an encouragement to just move on… There is always going to be a kid who might give up, but the thought of service is something different for them. I am graduating as leader in buildOn and my school. I left the country to help build a school in another country. I’m doing all these things and if you look at my past and my family’s history, you would never expect that.”

Shateka Knight is determined to inspire other students to live up to their full potential and forge better futures through service. Check out her spoken word poem that inspired nearly 1,000 buildOn supporters at the 2014 buildOn Gala. Read More…

Most Inspiring

Shateeka Knight

Bridgeport, CT

Read Shateka's Story

Green Guardian

Jairo Javier

Chicago, IL

“The more we get the actual community involved, the more people can work together and understand each other. It’s something we’ve been working on with buildOn – how do we get people to come together and talk to each other more? Community gardens seem like a great way… As soon as everybody’s outside working together, the likelihood of gangbangers wanting to do their thing is going to go down. They’re not going to want to be seen.”

A passionate environmentalist and gardener, Jairo Javier is cleaning up his Chicago neighborhood and bringing community members together. He’ll be attending Ripon College in the fall and is the first in his family to attend college. Read More…

Green Guardian

Jairo Javier

Chicago, IL

Read Jairo's Story

Hero to the Homeless

Nitchela Paul

Boston, MA

“The first time I went to a service project was at Casa Nueva Vida, a homeless shelter for families. I was there playing with younger kids, who were homeless, just like I once was. I got into a conversation with another buildOn student who was there. He was sharing how he used to live in this very shelter when he was younger. At that moment, I realized that other students were facing challenges similar to my own, and that through service we were both making a difference.”

Nitchela Paul struggled personally with homelessness after immigrating from Haiti, but after two caring teachers helped her get back on her feet, they also gave her a chance to pay it forward for others. They got her involved in buildOn where she used service and her own experience to become a Hero to the Homeless.

Hero to the Homeless

Nitchela Paul

Boston, MA

Read Nitchela's Story
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Support the Class of 2015 and Future buildOn Grads!

Make a graduation gift to support buildOn Service Learning Programs and your donation will be matched until we reach $5,000!
A gift as small as $6 funds a day of service for a buildOn student.

Donate Now

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