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Build On

Coordinator: Samantha Rodriguez
I started with buildOn in August 2017 after being a College Access Counselor for two years in Brooklyn, New York. Before that I worked as a 9th grade English Teacher's Assistant in the South Bronx through an AmeriCorps program called Blue Engine. As an AmeriCorps member I have devoted over 2000 hours to public service. I am currently a graduate student working towards an MEd in Youth Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I have always been passionate about empowering young people and I believe that by engaging them in service learning they are able to develop a sense of commitment to improve their communities. 


What We Do:

buildOn is active at Gage Park High School through after school and weekend service projects as well as in class education and service activities. On Thursdays, buildOn students have a Program Meeting after school to discuss service projects, reflect on past service, and spend time discussing local community issues. On Saturdays, buildOn meets for service projects including serving food to the homeless, playing bingo at nursing homes, making crafts with kids, or cleaning up parks. buildOn is open to any student and has no requirements for membership, every student at Gage Park is automatically part of the buildOn community. Sam is active in Gage Park classrooms sharing short lessons about local issues such as Homelessness in Chicago, Hunger, and Non-Violence. She engages students with videos and small service activities. buildOn also takes Gage Park students on a trip once a year to a developing country for an intense service learning trip where they work with students from different high schools and villagers in that country to build a school for an impoverished community. This cultural immersion gives students a once in a lifetime experience to learn, serve, and engage with a new community. This Summer Gage Park High School will be traveling with buildOn to build a school in Nicaragua.

For More Information click on the following link: BuildOn Website