Founder Suzanne McKechnie Klahr was teaching entrepreneurship skills to adults in East Palo Alto as a way to close the opportunity gap between the East Palo Alto’s poorer residents and those in affluent Silicon Valley. She began BUILD when a group of students asked to join in. Realizing that entrepreneurship is a powerful vehicle to improve educational performance, she brought together schools and professionals to guide students through creating and running their own businesses.
The results have been profound. In schools that have partnered with BUILD, dropout rates have dropped drastically while graduation and college acceptance rates have improved. With the skills they learn, these students have a newfound appreciation for learning and they are motivated toward future success.