Past Portfolio Member

Build Urban Prosperity (Build UP)

Birmingham, Alabama

Build Urban Prosperity (Build UP) is a new school model that launched in fall 2018 in Birmingham, Alabama, that is rethinking high school and how to better support skill development that will lead to pathways in the trades. While mastering high school content, students learn carpentry, drywall, electrical, and plumbing skills. They also learn how to finance, purchase, sell, and care for a home through in-class exercises and paid internships. As whole school projects, students renovate duplexes within Birmingham’s Ensley neighborhood. When students have earned an Associate Degree through Build UP’s six-year program and have enrolled in a four-year college or have obtained a full-time job, they will obtain ownership of one of the duplexes they helped renovate while in school. Build UP will reach a capacity of 120 students in its 6-year program by 2023-24. Once successfully launched, Build UP plans to replicate in other cities. Build UP CEO, Mark Martin, participated in The Drexel Fund’s Founders Program in 2017-18.

VIDEO: Build UP is Redefining School – and Reviving a Neighborhood