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Mentors sought for East Bay youth

Looking for ways to help out in your community? Consider volunteering with BUILD, a local after-school college prep program serving Oakland and Berkeley youth. Join UCOP Cares on July 21 for a 12 p.m. brown bag session at Franklin Building, Room 5320, to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Being a BUILD mentor is a chance to truly connect to your community. Not only will you make a real difference in the life of some very talented and entrepreneurial teenagers, you’ll also be joining a diverse team of highly motivated business professionals from all industries in the Bay Area.

“My mentors taught me to have hope and dreams, because if you work hard enough, they can become true,” said participant Laura Monje, an East Palo Alto High School student. Mentors benefit from the personal connection with students and knowing they’ve made a significant difference in students’ lives. Mentors have the ability to affect change and open students’ minds to new opportunities and experiences.

BUILD is an innovative, four-year, business-focused, college preparation program for under-resourced, under-represented high school students. BUILD’s mission is to provide real-world entrepreneurial experience that empowers youth from under-resourced communities to excel in education, lead in their communities and succeed professionally.

To date, 100 percent of BUILD’s graduates have been accepted to college. This is only possible due to the amazing mentors who work with BUILD students. BUILD is currently recruiting mentors for the following opportunities:

Freshmen Mentors
Freshman mentors work in pairs to help teams of 3-5 freshmen students define a business idea, write a business plan and create an accompanying slide presentation. The year culminates in a business plan competition before a panel of judges.

  • Time commitment: 1.5 hours per week, 3:30-5:00 p.m. or 5:30-7:00 p.m. from October-May
  • Evening of the week: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • Location: Partner school campuses in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville

Incubator Mentors
In the sophomore year, incubator mentors work in pairs to help students start up their businesses, including securing seed capital from a venture capitalist and manufacturing and selling their product. In the junior year, mentors work in pairs to help students continue to run their businesses and begin to think about college, developing a college list and a personal statement.

  • Time commitment: 1.5 hours per week, 5:30-7:00 p.m. from August-May
  • Evening of the week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • Location: BUILD offices, 449 15th Street, Suite 310, Oakland, or Lionel Wilson College Prep, 400 105th Avenue (just off the 98th Avenue exit of 880), Oakland

For more information, please contact Hillary Fernandes, volunteer coordinator, at or (650) 353-4094, or visit

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