BUILD's Annual Gala:

BUILD the Future

Friday May 5 2023, Navy Pier

On May 3, 2023, 600 friends and supporters gathered at Chicago’s Navy Pier to celebrate the power and resilience of BUILD youth. We honored three generations of the Abbey Family as Lifetime BUILDers and scholarship donors, and youth speakers Zack and Tauri shared their own powerful stories of persistence. Alumni Abbey Tiu-Kemph revisited her experience in a gang as a teen, and how BUILD negotiated her detachment and helped her back to school.


We celebrated these lives and raised over $800,000 unrestricted for BUILD’s greatest needs. Thank you to the whole community!

Hear BUILD Youth Voices tell their stories

Youth Speaker: Zack, age 19
"Thanks to BUILD I can stay on my own path and be who I want to be."

Youth Speaker
Tauri, age 14
"This program has helped me work through negative behaviors, anger and emotions and has taught me valuable problem solving and conflict resolution skills." 


Alumni Address: Abbey Tiu-Kemph, MA, LCPC

Born in the Philippines, Abbey’s large family migrated to Chicago when she was eleven, in 1996. It was a challenging time for the family, and after becoming gang-involved she crossed paths with BUILD and Felix Jusino, an Intervention Specialist who would become her advocate and mentor.

Abbey eventually earned her GED, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lewis University. Passionate about mentoring and uplifting vulnerable youth, she founded her own clinical therapy practice ‘Wounded Healers Counseling Service’, while also moving confidently into the restaurant industry through her two restaurants, “Leilani Asian Fusion” and “Little Leilani” in Aurora, IL. As an avid foodie, gardener, and mother of six, she inspires youth and communities to blossom with her fierce spirit and drive to build a better world.


Lifetime BUILDers: The Abbey Family

For more than four decades and three generations, the Abbey Family has believed in BUILD youth—giving flexible scholarships that help young BUILDers design and achieve their own destinies. This multigenerational commitment has become an Abbey tradition, demonstrating to all of us exactly how to turn ideals into concrete life-changing action.

Corporate Community BUILDer: Baird

Baird has always believed in building better futures for clients and communities, and the Baird Foundation a strong local investor. With the Paul Purcell “Kids Win” Education grants, they commit to expanding the next generation’s access to opportunity—holding doors open and helping young people walk through. BUILD and Baird agree: when kids win, we all win.

Philanthropy BUILDer:

We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery

Potential does not discriminate - but for too long, prosperity, opportunity, and investments have. We Rise Together combines deep community knowledge with nimble speed, investing to accelerate local-born projects and ideas. Their actions say it all: when we trust and work together, we rise together.

Thank you to our Sponsors, so far!