WALK IN THEIR SHOES by Jim Ziolkowski


Can One Person Change the World?
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One man's mission to help change the world one school at a time.

When Ziolkowski first started his nonprofit organization, buildOn, he did so with a hope and a prayer—the hope that he and his group could build three schools in three different, desolate locations and a prayer to God that he was making the right decision on turning his back on a successful career in corporate finance to pursue his dream. He used his strong faith to aid him when times got rough, and from those humble beginnings, Ziolkowski's group has built more than 500 schools worldwide and assisted countless American schools with service-oriented programs. In straightforward, almost humble prose, the author, with the assistance of Hirsch (Willie Mays, 2010, etc.), recounts the fears and triumphs of the past two decades—for example, the incredible poverty and disease he encountered in places like Africa, Nicaragua and Brazil. What surprised him most was the incredible faith the local villagers placed in him and in buildOn and the extremes people went to in order to build a local school, with women lugging 100-pound sacks of cement on their backs up steep mountain trails. The women's desire for education and a better way of life for their children and generations to come motivated them to endure hardships beyond measure. As one African mother stated, "If you educate a boy, you educate one person. If you educate a girl, you educate an entire community.” Ziolkowski's Christian faith is a strong thread throughout the book, as he questions the motives behind his actions and always comes back full circle to the sanctity of his ambitions.

A motivational tale of the changes people can make in the lives of others, given determination and a strong faith in right and wrong.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4516-8355-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013


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