Elizabeth Miranda recently combined an enduring passion with an old one by volunteering with the BUILD program at Charlestown High School.
By day, she runs her own event planning business and acts as the coordinator for the Community Center for Entrepreneurship at . But, around 3 p.m. some days, she shuttles over to the high school to teach potential drop-outs the ins and outs of business.
On one recent Wednesday, she sat at a crowded table with students in the high school’s library to guide them through the business math required to find the .
The math—or it’s kind, anyway—is something Miranda has experienced during her time as an entrepreneur.
After her education a Wellesley College, she struck out into the world to work as a radio personality and a businesswoman, but not until after she worked with teens in Boston.
“I used to work at an organization called My Town,” Miranda said. “We used to use young people as historical walking guides.”
It was her first real job after college, she said, and she won a “youth worker of the year” award while mentoring local kids and teaching them local history.
Since then, she said, it has been eight years since she worked with teens, and she finds it “inspiring” to work with them again.
“Life hasn’t molded and shaped them yet, so their dreams are so big and grand,” she said.
But the position isn’t without its challenges. Miranda said she dedicates an hour and a half each week to mentoring, which she said can strain both her personal and professional life—especially as she has to leave work early.
Charlestown High School also suffers a , according to a recent report, and, by the time students get to their after-school mentoring sessions, Miranda said they tend to be tired and hungry.
Beyond simple fatigue and hunger, she said, her teens struggle with real-life issues. One student recently learned that his father had been incarcerated, and another student left the program because she was pregnant.
“Every once in a while you kind of get that reality check,” she said, “and then you realize that you’re really important to them as a support system.”
Miranda joined up with BUILD this year, in its , and said she plans to stick with it until this year’s freshman class graduates.