At buildOn, we celebrate the creative and adventurous steps that members of the buildOn movement take to support education and service at home and abroad. Our “Members of the Movement” series highlights the vital work these supporters are doing to help empower youth and end the education crisis.

As freshmen at Northeastern University in Boston, Johnny Fayad and Ali Kothari could never find the time to wake up with a cup of coffee before they headed to their 8:00 a.m. finance class. Hurrying to class one morning they wondered to each other, “What if we could just eat our coffee?”

Fast forward three years and Johnny and Ali are now owners and operators of New Grounds Food, a company that makes CoffeeBars, a snack with a cup of coffee in every bar. Inspired by a talk from buildOn Founder and CEO Jim Ziolkowski at Northeastern’s Social Enterprise Institute, the two young entrepreneurs found an opportunity to put their burgeoning business to use supporting a cause they believe in. Today, New Grounds is partnering with the buildOn Chapter at Northeastern University to raise money to build schools in developing countries and support local youth service in Boston.

“We have always strove for our product to have an impact on the world, and hearing Jim speak was extremely inspirational for us. His passion and drive comes out in every word and we knew we wanted to be a part of the buildOn movement,” says Ali.

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