BUILD's Metro D.C. Team
Christopher Brown - Regional Executive Director
Christopher Brown is BUILD Metro DC's Regional Executive Director. He oversees all aspects of program operations, is chief strategist for regional growth, and serves as the development lead for BUILD in the National Capital Region. Before BUILD, Chris served as Project Manager for College Summit’s research and development team at the national headquarters. Previously, Chris was an NYU Reynolds Graduate Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, during which time he also taught entrepreneurship in Long Island City Queens. Before NYU, Chris served as Program Director for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship New York Metro office. In 2001, he launched the social enterprise Youth Action in Johannesburg South Africa. Chris was also a founding staff member for City Year Washington DC and service leader for City Year Boston. A graduate of Valparaiso University, Chris was awarded the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, was a Coro Leadership New York member, and a Comcast National Leadership Award Winner.
Alia Peera - Site Director
Throughout her career, Alia has demonstrated a commitment to education reform, college access, and youth development. Her passion for youth began in college, where she served as camp counselor and mentor for at-risk youth in East Los Angeles. Alia first joined the BUILD team as the METRO DC Academic and Business Program Manager. Prior to joining BUILD, Alia was an elementary special education teacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Before teaching, Alia served as the Senior Program Associate of Education Pioneers DC Metro, where she helped launch the DC office in 2007 and played a key role expanding the program from 2008-2009. Alia has also worked at College Summit as a program coordinator, supporting teachers and counselors in motivating students to create post-secondary plans for college. Alia is a certified Youth Facilitator for College Summit, also known as a “Rap Director,” empowering students to see their gifts and ultimately, self advocate through the college application process and beyond. Originally, from Tucson, Arizona, Alia holds a B.S in Public Policy and a B.A. in International Relations from University of Southern California.
Khalilah Ummah - College Program Manager
Khalilah attended Tufts University and focused on child development and psychology. While at Tufts, she played on the varsity women’s basketball team for four years. Following her undergraduate studies, she went on to received her Ed.M. at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. Khalilah has been advocating for students’ education and college success for the past two years as a financial aid advisor at ACCESS in Boston. The Academic Program Manager role combines her love for youth development and her passion for higher education access.
Levi Rivers - Ninth Grade Program Manager
Levi was born and raised in the Inglewood area of Los Angeles, CA. As a child he had many passions; the greatest was helping others and giving back to those in need. Upon graduating from the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES), he accepted a full academic scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. There he studied Business Administration, earning a degree in Management and graduating with honors. After graduating, he spent two years as a Realtor with Glasgow Realty in Los Angeles, an inner-city brokerage that offered residents discounted costs for selling their homes. As the housing market stalled, he began researching a career in education. This eventually led him to Washington DC, where he served two years as a special education teacher/case manager with DCPS. Having worked extensively with inner-city youth, he looks forward to utilizing his skills to further the BUILD mission both locally and nationally!
Alex Shabo - Ninth Grade Program Assistant
Alex attended Washington and Lee University graduating with a B.A. in Business Administration and Psychology. During her time at W&L, she was a resident adviser for first year students and head resident adviser her senior year. Through support from the Bonner program, Alex started "Student to Student Mentoring," an on campus organization in Rockbridge that paired college students with kids in the community to be their mentor, friend and resource. As the ninth-grade program assistant, her position really captures her passion for working with youth to help them find their own potential and successes.