That’s the percentage of my class of seniors at BUILD who have been accepted to college (and are going to college, God-willing).


And that statistic is not the only phenomenal fact. This remarkable group of high school seniors has gotten into some great schools like UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, St. Mary’s, Menlo College, SF State, San Jose State, Lehigh University, Augustana College, Bradley University, Northeastern University, UC Berkeley, and Santa Clara University. The last three colleges have even offered our students full-rides.


These are students that four-years ago when we started to work with them were written off by the school system and tracked into remedial and non-college prep courses–because of the color of their skin or because their first language was not English or because they come from low income families, etc. These are the “better-than-their numbers” students who may have low-to-average GPA’s and SAT scores, but who have stories so remarkable that they will excel given any circumstances they face.

Needless to say, I am extremely honored and blessed to have the opportunity to work with my students. I’ve been working with this graduating class for three years now, and I will be the first one to admit that I will cry like a proud parent during their high school graduations–yes, I’m going to all four of them.

So to all of you who are graduating high school this semester and are going off to college, hang in there for the rest of the school year. Don’t get senioritis just yet. Keep giving it 100%.

On May 1st, you will have a very important choice to make. Be thoughtful. Be honest with yourself. And know whatever choice you make is yours and yours alone. Not your family’s. Not your teachers’ or counselors’. This is your future. You’ve made it this far, and I believe you know what will be right for you.

Know that you make at least one person (me, duh) proud, and there likely are many, many more.

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