buildOn is an organization that has after school service programs for high schools in the United States as well as projects to build schools in developing countries.

It’s a non profit organization, and has learning programs in these urban areas: Detroit, New York City, Chicago, Boston, southwest Connecticut, and San Francisco Bay.

buildOn’s student chapters outline their goals to:
Advocate on behalf of buildOn and the world’s illiterate.
Fundraise to sponsor the construction of buildOn primary schools.
Travel to physically construct a school, live with a host family, and immerse yourself in a new culture.
Gain professional/leadership skills, international non-profit experience and a new perspective on life.

Aled Hollingworth is the Southern Community Engagement Manager.

I asked Aled Hollingworth a couple of questions after his visit to USF and here’s what he said:

1. How long have you been a part of buildOn?
This year is my 6th year with buildOn, I joined in 2011, and then took a year off to begin my graduate school courses.
2. What is the organization’s biggest accomplishment?
WOW! Loaded question. We have many big accomplishments, I think one of the biggest accomplishments is that we have constructed over 1,100 schools, where 149,000 children, and adults are attending theses schools, in some of the economically poorest countries around the world, and students across the United States have contributed nearly 2 million hours of service to their communities.
3. If you could pick one thing, what do you like most about being with buildOn?
One thing I love about the organization is that we are dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations! I love that the organization is so closely aligned to its mission, and that we provide opportunities for everyone to join the movement and take action, like joining a Community Team on your college campus to help fundraise to build a school!
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Aled tells a story of one of the students who learns how to write his name.
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Chikondi traces out the letters of his name for the first time.

Check out their blog or donate! To learn more, watch this video about how buildOn builds hope: