BUILD Boston is proud of our 38 seniors who graduated this past June with awards, recognition, and acceptances to over 70 colleges. We also had a BUILD Boston first – two students were named valedictorians, Lenylse from Dearborn STEM Academy and Jessica from Another Course to College!
Anyone who joined us on June 4, 2019 at BUILDFest had the pleasure of hearing Lenylse share her BUILD story on stage in front of 700 guests and special guest judge, Kevin O’Leary. During her time with BUILD, she worked as the Chief Operating Officer on Team Towel-Tote – a bag that functions as a two-in-one towel and tote. Her team, inspired by their experiences living in island countries, devised a product that would reduce how much you had to take with you to the beach. The team earned over $3,000 in just two years and even had the opportunity to pitch their product at Staples headquarters.
Lenylse shared her story to help honor her mentor, Shely Do Souto, who was recognized as one of the Mentors of the Year. She delivered a compelling message of the power of hard work and confidence.
“As an English Language Learner, and a kid with a lisp who came from the Cape Verde Islands in 2012, part of me was still afraid to even speak in English never mind presenting in front of an audience of strangers. I had always been a quiet person, so I had to learn to advocate for myself when my mother passed away. This experience forced me to be an adult at the age of twelve. I no longer had my guide in life. Before I make any decision in life, I always look back and wonder what my mother would think. I became more driven to achieve my dreams and make mom proud. Had I never participated in BUILD, I never would have found my voice, my confidence and strength to move forward.”
Click Here to watch her full speech.