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BUILD Nigeria

Our Story

When Ife and Tolu, Co-Founders of BUILD Nigeria, got to Yale and Harvard respectively, they immediately found that there was a stark underrepresentation of Nigerian international students at world-class colleges in the US. At the time, Ife was only one of three Nigerian students on Yale’s entire undergraduate campus, and the only one without dual citizenship. Tolu was the only Nigerian international student in the class of 2022. They both knew that the problem couldn’t have been that Nigerian students are not brilliant enough to get into these colleges. So, they began asking questions to try to understand what was going on. They noticed that their African peers with a larger number of students at these colleges mostly came from college access programs in their home countries. From Bridge2Rwanda to KenSAP and USAP, Tolu and Ife were immediately confronted by how much incredible, life-changing work these organizations were doing, and it was around this time that they learned about the HALI Access Network

After learning about these college access programs, they began to conduct demand validation interviews with members of the HALI Access Network, admissions officers at US colleges and those that work in the education and youth development space in Nigeria. Soon, they found that there was certainly a need for a solution tailored to high achieving, low income and first-generation Nigerian youth that have academic and career ambitions beyond the opportunities available at home. What they found in abundance were college advising agencies that charge exorbitant amounts of money and that students in that demographic cannot afford. There was a gap that needed to be filled because these students are not only brilliant, but deserving to attend world-class colleges that can completely change the trajectory of their lives and equip them with the tools, exposure and support needed to transform their communities, country and the world at large.

Our Mission

Thus, BUILD Nigeria was born with the mission of democratizing access to world-class colleges globally for high achieving, low income and first-generation Nigerian youth. We support our students as they prepare outstanding college applications and prepare for the college environment, and we fund their entire journey to college, from test fees to student visa costs. Through a one-to-one mentorship model, we provide our students with personalized guidance through our college application programming modules concerning all aspects of the research, application and college preparation process. We conduct workshops on topics such as time and stress management, email etiquette, academic research and writing skills, and so on, allowing our students to build their confidence and readiness for the college environment. Our students join a lifelong community of globally educated, highly skilled, well-connected and impact-driven young Nigerians who are passionate about making positive change in their communities, country and the world at large.

For general inquiries, please email contact@buildng.org anytime! We would love to hear from you. To see all the ways to engage with BUILD Nigeria, from volunteering to donating, visit https://buildng.org/how-to-help. Check us out in the press by visiting https://buildng.org/press. Follow our social media: Instagram and LinkedIn.