Uplift Voices

Uplift Alumni Board: Building a Dream Life

Uplift Education

Geovanni Murguia remembers what started it all. It was time to go back to school and his parents took him to Payless to buy a new pair of shoes for school.

“It was 2008, and the recession was in full swing, both my parents had lost their jobs and they couldn’t afford the shoes,” Geovanni said.

Geovanni used that moment as a springboard to not only convince his parents to let him start working at 8-years-old, but also to get hooked on construction.

“I was broke and had no choice, so I started off doing the basics, sweeping, carrying stuff around, buying lunch for the workers, just getting my feet wet in the industry,” Geovanni said.

Pretty soon, he had raised enough money to be able to afford the pair of shoes with his own money, but that was only the beginning. By the time Geovanni was 16, he had started a general drywall company specializing in drywall repairs. A few years later, D-R Construction expanded to include general construction and contracting work.

“I love what I do, I get to build people’s dream home or remodel their dream restroom, and get paid at the same time,” Geovanni said. “I’m privileged to be in a position where I’m the middleman, I provide jobs for my people, while at the same time making my client’s dreams come true.”

Now a junior at Babson College, a private business school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Geovanni aims to solidify his business and make it even more successful.

“I’m here at Babson looking for a team,” Geovanni said. “Eventually, I want to start a developing firm, and with Babson being a business school, I’m confident I can find a couple of my fellow accounting and finance classmates and work together to create something great.”

While Geovanni has worked hard for everything he has achieved thus far, he credits Jonathan Pena, Dean at Uplift Summit Preparatory in Arlington, for helping to motivate him.

“He saw something in me that a lot of people didn’t,” Geovanni said. “He was my mentor. We had deep conversations together and to this day we still stay in contact. The power of someone else telling you, ‘Hey everyone else may not believe in you, but I do’; for me, that’s what I needed most at that time.”

Mr. Pena’s support fueled Geovanni when he was at Uplift Summit, and now he hopes to do the same for current Uplift scholars as a founding member of the Uplift Alumni Board.

“Looking back at the community I grew up in, I remember we grew up in a poor neighborhood. No one had gone to college, let alone going to Boston for college,” Geovanni said. “I want to be that reference point to my cousins, to my family, and to the community around me. If I can do it, so can you.”

The goal of the Uplift Alumni Board program is to help innovate and develop new ways to activate, engage, and connect current scholars and Uplift alumni around the network.  This will help strengthen the Uplift Alumni network as well as provide opportunities for our scholars to learn and grow as young adults preparing for a career.  

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