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Build 2 Lead works to empower, engage, and educate young people – in partnership with their families and communities – so they can interact with and advocate to change the systems that historically limit them.

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The B2L Vision

We uplift collective voices, increase social capital and economic mobility for the sustainability of our BIPOC communities.

Our Mission. Our Legacy.

Empowering people to lead – youth, parents, educators, and community members – is at the center of our work. Build 2 Lead programs nurture confidence in young people so they can interact with, and advocate to change, the systems that historically limit them.

We make visible more options for youth to consider, from attending college to being entrepreneurs and business owners. We deliver learning modules and community workshops that parents, local businesses, and communities can contribute to and benefit from together.
Build 2 Lead partners with BIPOC youth, their families, and their communities. We provide a consistent bridge between the classroom and the families and communities that students return home to. We deliver community programs rooted in equitable leadership and advocacy. These are the building blocks for system-wide change.

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Jimmy Brown 

Founder and Executive Director

Our Origins

Jimmy founded Build 2 Lead during the COVID-19 pandemic when schools and community programs closed, setting back access to education for BIPOC students even further. He saw the need to create pipelines for non-traditional access to networks and learning opportunities. Jimmy founded Build 2 Lead which now serves BIPOC youth in schools, youth spaces, and communities across Washington state.


“I’m driven to change the narrative of my family. No one in my family had gone to college. No one had owned a business. I started my online degree when I was 25 and graduated four-years later. At the same time, I was working with youth. I was starting my own business. I started to understand the importance of getting others to see it: the importance of school, that there are other pathways like being an entrepreneur. You have to see someone modeling it to know that it’s possible.”


In King County, only 20% of small business are owned by Black and Brown people. Only 33% of Black and Brown families own their home. Build 2 Lead programs such as Financial Literacy and Academic Advocacy are designed to educate and empower young people, their families, and their communities to change the narrative, to change systems, to shift power.


“ I learned so many lessons as a first-generation business owner; I had to break down a lot of barriers. Many other people are doing the same hard work. At Build 2 Lead, we’re using these collective experiences to create step by step guidance – to teach young people of color and communities of color to be entrepreneurs, to navigate systems, and to be advocates for their community as local business owners.”

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Felisciana Peralta

B2L Board Member

Executive Director, Equity in Education, Puget Sound Educational District

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Manny Maldonado

B2L Board Member

Columbia Bank

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Linda Low

B2L Board Member Co-chair

Director, APCO Social Impact

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Anthony Buchanan

B2L Board Member & Treasurer

Program Mentor, WGU Washington

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Bobby Humes

B2L Board Member

Executive & Career Coach

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Andrea Ramirez

B2L Board Vice Chair

Director of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, & Inclusion,
Woodland Park Zoo

Our Team

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Dairyona Thompson

Lead Training Specialist

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Kyleigh Sapp

Youth Training Specialist

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Natorius Ezell

Program Manager

With B2L

We partner with diverse organizations: educational services, local businesses, community-based organizations, governments, and corporations.


Together with partners, we empower, engage, and educate – to drive equitable systems change.


Partner with us; there are so many ways!

Our Partners

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Participate. Donate. Volunteer.

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