BUILD, a non-profit based in Redwood City, uses entrepreneurship to try to keep low-income students in school through high school and, ultimately, continuing through college.
At Wednesday’s event, teams of students from East Oakland, supported by volunteer adult mentors, set up small business “shops” in the Wind River cafeteria and presented Wind River employees their business plans and products.
The student businesses represented were:
- Balls of Fury (homemade stress balls)
- Bottom’s Up (office seat cushions)
- Modernators (plastic travel drink tumblers)
- Green Thumb Squad (mini-gardens in mason jars)
- Wipe Out (3-in-1 whiteboard cleaner)
Barry Brand, a 10th grader and COO of Balls of Fury, said, “BUILD is one of the best things that could have happened to me. I feel like it’s helping me get ready for college.”
Colin Rogers, a volunteer mentor, explained, “BUILD provides the platform for this learning in a real world setting. Within my own team, Bottom’s Up, who are building a business around customized seat cushions for sporting events, etc., the confidence I see in each member as they conquer a new challenge, and understand their own capabilities, is thrilling, and a testament to the success of the program.”
A spokesperson for Wind River said the company was pleased to give the students a platform to practice in a professional setting.
Wind River and BUILD provided the photos that accompany this story.