In 1990, while trekking through a remote mountain village in Nepal, financier Jim Ziolkowski stumbled upon a celebration for the opening of a new schoolhouse. Impressed by the locals’ level of enthusiasm, and taken aback by the limited construction capacity of the area, Ziolkowski decided upon his return to the U.S. to leave his finance career and devote himself to constructing schools in developing countries. What started out in 1991 as a small-scale program in which he, his brother, and a good friend laid the bricks and mortar for several schools quickly grew into an international nonprofit called Building with Books—named for the idea of promoting opportunity and empowerment through education. To date, the organization has built 136 primary schools in nine countries from Bolivia to Malawi, and served over 53,000 children in doing so.