Carlyle’s Story – From Wall Street to Mali

Breaking The Cycle

“It’s not about how much you do. It’s that you do something.”
– Carlyle Peake

Serving alongside inner city teens wasn’t always Carlyle Peake’s idea of a good time. Giving financially to nonprofit work seemed more appropriate, considering his busy schedule as BBVA’s Head of Emerging Markets on Wall Street. However, when the opportunity arose to build a school in West Africa with buildOn, he said, “Why not?” and took the leap. After meeting Jim and the rest of the team, it didn’t take long before he “was hooked.”


After returning from Mali, Carlyle wanted to see buildOn’s afterschool programs firsthand. He decided to visit Detroit with buildOn to experience what urban high schools are like from the students’ perspective, and how service is changing schools from the inside out. Carlyle described the two-day trip as “mind-blowing.” Here, he began to understand how buildOn provides a strong support system for the students. He had never seen anything like it before.

Speaking of the buildOn students, Peake says, “When I have kids, I hope that they have character like these kids. Many young professionals today believe that their lives are just too busy to serve and allow financial giving to be the end of their community involvement. While money is certainly an important component of social change, you have to really commit so a true impact can be made. Not just on the students, but on one’s own life.”

Breaking The Cycle

Join Carlyle in supporting buildOn as we empower students to thrive through service and education.