Building Tomorrow is a national organization aimed to provide students in Uganda with the same educational resources and environment available in the United States. In order to create a Building Tomorrow club at individual colleges, students must start up chapters on campus to raise money to build schools in Uganda. In spring 2012, Ramapo students made this happen.
In the spring 2012 semester, eight students from Ramapo were chosen to go to the College of William and Mary in Virginia for the Active Citizens Conference. The students were chosen by the Ramapo administration due to the students' leadership involvement in Ramapo clubs and organizations.
"We believe education is a global right. We want to give students in Uganda and sub-Saharan Africa the same educational opportunities that we ourselves have received in America and at Ramapo College of New Jersey," said Rachel Hopkins, president of Ramapo's Building Tomorrow club.
The club's executive board consists of: Rachel Hopkins, president; Haven Krynicky, vice president; Anthony Darakjy, treasurer; Kerry Duda, secretary; Christina Coviello, events coordinator; Nick Farfalla, student liaison; and adviser, Melissa Van der Wall. With only one full semester under its belt, Building Tomorrow is 25 members strong and still open to those interested in making a difference.
"On a weekly basis, Building Tomorrow meets to discuss and plan upcoming fundraisers that the members are working on," Hopkins said. "The club meetings have no set day and time yet."
Ramapo's Building Tomorrow club also has a few fundraisers to look out for this semester and next. Currently, anyone can contribute to the club by donating online. The patron can donate money to the general Ramapo College page or to the individual member pages that are listed. For every $100 Ramapo raises by Dec. 31, the Building Tomorrow national office will match and donate each $100 raised.
"It's definitely one of the few clubs I have ever been involved with that has a sole purpose for helping others and also has international factor of involvement," Darakjy said.
The Building Tomorrow club's large event for this fall semester is called RamaGlo. It is a blacklight paint and highlighter party on Dec. 7 in Friends Hall. The event will be held from 9 p.m. to midnight on that Friday. There will be a D.J., dancing, food and raffle prizes. Tickets are $5 and 100 percent of proceeds go to Building Tomorrow. Tickets will be sold at Roadrunner Central beforehand and at the door during the event. Students can look for tickets to be on sale by the end of this week. More information can be found on Facebook, via email and on posters throughout campus. The more support that students show, the more Ramapo College can make a difference in many childrens' futures.
"Once you hear the reason behind BT, you just want to go out and make a difference," Darakjy said.
This coming spring semester, Building Tomorrow is planning a candy-selling contest, "Race to Uganda," which is a contest similar to "The Amazing Race," and "Bike to Uganda" which is a fundraiser in which students pledge a certain number of miles on a stationary bike to simulate a ride to Uganda.
To find out more about general meetings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Facebook at "Building Tomorrow: Ramapo College of New Jersey."