Like all Public Service Center programs, BUILD, a literacy mentoring program, frequently serves as a springboard to a career for student participants. So many BUILD alumni now work in education that this spring the PSC held an education careers event — with representatives from 17 different education employers — in partnership with the Cal Alumni Association and the Career Center.
On March 7, 2017, several BUILD alumni returned to campus for the event, eager to share their path from literacy mentor to education professional.
For Mai Chou Vang (B.A. Architecture, class of 2010), BUILD sparked an interest in education. “I was pretty sure I didn’t want to be a classroom teacher, and needed to find other opportunities in education.” She decided to get a master’s in public policy at Columbia University and now researches and evaluates education programs with WestEd. Her path was an inspiration to current BUILD director, Joy San Luis. “I’m also interested in education policy so it was helpful to talk to an alum and hear what policy work actually looks like.”
Ashley McGrath (B.A. Psychology, class of 2014) reflected: “I decided I wanted to be a teacher literally because of BUILD. I came into Cal pre-med, started working with BUILD, and then knew.” Ashley shared information about teaching credential programs.
Students appreciated the diversity of perspectives and career pathways that were represented. Sophia Li, a director at Sankofa Elementary in Oakland, was energized by the event. “It was really amazing to see past BUILD directors and see what they are doing now!” Current BUILD director, Ramiro Lobo, was one of the many students who found Ashley over the course of the night. She was so excited he did. “I love talking to BUILD students and connecting with them. They asked me a lot of questions about the credential application process, and I could honestly tell them — I wrote my entire application essay all about BUILD!”