Erika Oliver, President of Building Tomorrow

It's very rare that we have students at Emory making a positive impact on our community, so when we do, HCE makes sure that these people are definitely highlighted! Meet Erika Oliver, President of Building Tomorrow. Although it's a small organization, it has made a lasting impact on the people it helps, ensuring disadvantaged students around the world are given the same opportunity that we have: a good education! Read up Erika's responsibilities and how you can become involved in an organization that's making the world a better place!

Her Campus Emory (HCE): What is Building Tomorrow?

Erika Oliver (EO): Building Tomorrow is a national organization that strives to provide students in rural Uganda with access to an education. We are one of 40 college chapters across the nation but we all share the same mission. At Emory we hope to raise $10,000 by May in order to fund the construction of another academy in Uganda. 

 

 

HCE: How did you get involved?

EO: I was selected to be involved in the Vision in Action Program through the OSLS. At this point I was allowed to implement a vision of my choice on Emory’s campus. I am very passionate about education in developing nations so I wanted to start an organization where we could actively be involved in providing students with a quality education. I was introduced to a representative of Building Tomorrow and after that, I knew this was the organization I needed to start. Building Tomorrow has a very sustainable model for development that involved the local community, the Ugandan government, as well as students in America. 

HCE: What are your responsibilities as president of Emory's chapter?

EO: As president I am the main communication line between our chapter and nationals. Besides organizing and conducting meetings, I also do a lot of community outreach. This involves speaking to other organizations about our fundraising and educational goals. The presidential role also requires me to oversee fundraising efforts and the organization of events such as Bike to Uganda, which we had last spring and we will be hosting again in 2015. I also will be attending the first annual Building Tomorrow National Conference and speaking on a panel about starting new chapters of Building Tomorrow on college campuses. 

HCE: What kind of impact has Building Tomorrow had on the people it serves?​

EO: Building Tomorrow has left a lifelong impact on both the students and community members in Uganda as well as the students who are involved in America. Each of the 300 students that attend a Building Tomorrow Academy receive a quality education. The citizens who were involved in the construction and maintenance of the academy are able to experience the manifestation of how an education can benefit an entire community. As for students in America, I can personally say that Building Tomorrow has made me more grateful yet also more driven to improve the educational crisis in developing countries. 

HCE: How can Emory students get involved in Building Tomorrow?

EO: We are always looking for more students to get involved! If you are passionate about building an academy in a developing country, please contact [email protected] or myself at [email protected]. Also look for us at Wonderful Wednesdays throughout the year!