Last week, BUILD hosted its first Step-Up Ceremony at the Suffolk University Entrepreneurship Center in downtown Boston. This ceremony was meant to demonstrate to the sophomore students the importance of following through with their goals and going to college. BUILD also recognized students for stepping up both in their academic and BUILD careers.
First Ryan Oliver, Site Director, spoke about how students from BUILD had such a great opportunity to be able to get the help they need to get into college and how great it is that these kids are starting their own businesses. Ryan then introduced Herbert Castillo, Babson College Class of 2015 and graduate of BUILD in Los Angeles. Mr. Castillo talked about how much potential he saw in the room and how he would not be where he is today if it wasn’t for BUILD. He also encouraged students to take full opportunity of BUILD, to use the mentors and recourses given to them to improve both their academic and personal lives.
Next, Joseph Grassia, BUILD’s Business Program Manager, talked about the tassels that were placed on all of the chairs in the room for the BUILD students. These tassels will be hung up in the incubator at the downtown BUILD office as a symbol of what they will achieve when the students graduate from high school and BUILD. Although, the students were hesitant to give up their tassels, they understood it was a symbol of accomplishments they will one day achieve.
After the tassels were returned, BUILD students received recognitions of their hard work at school and BUILD. One award was for students maintaining a certain high-level GPA at school, while another was for punctuality and attendance at BUILD events. The students were visibly pleased when being recognized and posing for their photos, and BUILD hopes to propel that feeling all the way through high school.
Finally, Ayele Shakur, BUILD’s Regional Executive Director, talked about her own experience in High School and how she didn’t used to think getting good grades mattered. Ms. Shakur went on to say that one day she realized she didn’t want to be ordinary anymore; she wanted to stick out and be unique. She knew that the best way to do this was to try in school so she could one day go on to the college that she wanted to attend and have all the opportunities that she could ever want. It was an inspiring speech and helped the kids by having someone they could truly look up to.