What does student success really mean and how do we measure it?

The true measure of student success is how well students are prepared to accomplish their current, future, personal and professional goals through the development of knowledge, self-reliance and a connection with college or an industry. For students, success is measured not from just good grades, but also from becoming a strong candidate for a career in a chosen field and emerging as competent and trustworthy adults, making their family and mentors proud.

The California Homebuilding Foundation believes all students deserve a comprehensive education to excel in the various professions made available by the homebuilding industry, regardless of background, race, color, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, socioeconomic status, or any other discriminating factor.

Join the California Homebuilding Foundation in bringing construction education and building career opportunities to students in California through ‘The Donald Chaiken’ Building Industry Technology Academy (BITA) program and to recipients of a Foundation or Hall of Fame scholarship award.

Students tell their stories.


Adin is a 2020 graduate of Woodcreek High School's Building Industry Technology Academy (BITA). Adin's grandfather was a Wood Shop Teacher who passed his love of craftsmanship to his grandson, who is determined to continue this family legacy. "If the tile breaks, I know how to fix it. If the drywall has a hole, I know how to repair it. I can build what I want, and I know that I can carry that on for the rest of my life," says Adin. Now, Adin is ready to start his career in the industry and eventually wants to teach construction students just like him.


If we had to describe Andrew - BITA student at Valencia High School - in one word, it would be "passionate." Andrew's love for construction came from his father, who tragically passed away from cancer in 2017. Andrew's BITA classes exposed him to several different career paths in the industry. After graduating, he plans to pursue a job in heavy machinery, roofing, HVAC, or architectural drafting. "I will definitely be pursuing a career in the construction field because of my experience and my love of the field," says Andrew.


Before COVID-19, Angeline was working on her capstone project at her school's BITA workshop in San Marcos, and applying to the Construction Management program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Angeline says, "My parents really encouraged me to build because I was very hands-on as a kid and loved Bob the Builder. I’m the first one in my family to do construction, so I’m starting a new path. I started off in woodshop and I was the only girl. It was kind of scary at first, but once I got more comfortable, the gender gap doesn’t matter unless you make it matter."


"BITA taught me the value of communication and group cohesion." -Ari, senior BITA student. Ari enrolled in BITA to give her the skills to pursue higher education in a construction-related field. Ari says: "In 5 years I plan to be in a masters degree program, pursuing project management, statistics, or business. In 10 years, I see myself in the construction industry as an estimator, civil engineer, or project manager. I love the idea of being able to travel between an office job and construction sites, getting to see all aspects of a project." Ari has been accepted to Colorado School of Mines in pursuit of a Civil Engineering degree. She plans to work as a Civil Engineer after college, possibly obtain a masters degree as well.


Ben, a Senior at Lincoln High School, enrolled in BITA to "learn important hands-on skills that could help me get a job after high school. I enjoy working with tools." Here is a powerful message from Ben's mother, Regina: "As a parent in the field of education, I am impressed at the many career opportunities available to young people today. Students can reach their career goals by attending college, attending a trade school or by receiving on-the-job training. "Last Summer, my son, Ben, was able to participate in a paid Summer internship with Lennar. He learned of this opportunity from his Teacher, Mr. James Brown. BITA gave Ben the training and opportunity to pursue a hands-on career.


Crystal, found her passion, her first year of the BITA construction training curriculum at Lincoln High School. Crystal wanted to try a class that allowed her to work with her hands and explore alternative career paths, BITA, gave her the opportunity she was seeking. She learned the basics of construction, such as measuring, cutting, and sanding pieces of wood, which proved to be both challenging and enjoyable. When Lennar Homes hosted the after school workshops with the North State Building Industry Foundation, Crystal discovered a passion in electrical work that illuminated the path to her future career. Crystal was able to land an internship with EZ Electric in her final year of high school.


For scholarship recipient Evan, Construction Management was more than just his chosen major at Sacramento State University it was a part of his childhood and his vision of a meaningful career. After graduating, Evan served in the US Navy. When his tour came to an end, he could afford the cost of college tuition. “Receiving a CHF scholarship had a huge impact in allowing me to focus on my studies and alleviate the financial worries,” said Evan. Evan’s was bale to to earn his degree and embark on a fulfilling career path because of the Hall of Fame scholarship contributors; Michael and Julia Cortney, Dennis and Gloria O’Brien Foundation, and Joan Webb’s family.


Jacob was inspired by his BITA Instructor, Duane Jennrich, who instills his students with the confidence they need to be skilled and respectable professionals. In 2019, his team from Estancia High took first place in the Southern California Design Build Competition. Jacob’s confidence grew, and he decided to pursue a career in the industry with a goal is to become a safety manager, working in drywalling and roofing. “This program help me see what I want to do with my life and how to earn it from working hard and doing something that I love,” says Jacob, “I recommend other kids to try the BITA program—it's a life-changer.”


Kiki enrolled in Whitney High School's BITA program to "do something with [her] hands" and fell in love with HVAC installation during an internship with Lennar Homes, secured by her BITA teacher, Mr. Bret Hunter. After graduating high school, she was immediately hired into Villara's HVAC apprenticeship program, a three-year certification training to help her earn her technician's certification while working full-time. Kiki dreams of owning an HVAC company someday, and continues to give back to her school's BITA program by helping students in the classroom and her former teacher with projects and lesson plans.


As a young Asian American woman, Liz felt the cultural pressure to seek a career in law or medicine, but Liz had other ideas for her future. In her sophomore year of school, Liz discovered the BITA at Luther Burbank High School and enrolled in the multi-year construction training program. She fell in love with electrical work, a challenging subject she was proud to master, and learned the value of community service by constructing a tiny house for a homeless family. “Being in BITA classes made me expand my horizons and see a bigger picture of the construction community,” Liz said to the California Homebuilding Foundation. “I want to inspire Asian American women to join construction and try a vocation or trade.”


When Paul graduated from the BITA program at Whitney High School in 2018, he took a job with Villara Building Systems. Paul is an incredibly professional, well-spoken young adult with tenacity, and, in his words, the "marketable skills" required to succeed in this industry. A student workshop, hosted by Lennar Homes, connected him with Villara, and after passing a 20-day skills test, he was asked to join their team as a plumbing installer. Paul was excited to see his education come full circle. BITA not only gave him the confidence and connections to earn a lucrative career after high school, it gave him the opportunity to help his local BITA program grow when he returned to his alma mater as a guest speaker to inspire other students. 


"I come from an underserved family whose living standard was very modest when I was living in Mexico. I entered the workforce at the age of 15. When I was on the project site, I remember listening to the superintendents who gave us instructions on how to do the tasks properly and efficiently. I was impressed with their knowledge and experience; I knew I wanted to follow a path toward the construction industry. No words can explain how grateful I am for the scholarship support because it really had a positive impact on my life as a struggling student". Pablo graduated from CSU, Fresno in 2019 with a degree in Construction Management. He currently works as a Field Engineer for Harris Construction Company, Inc..


Ryan is in his first year of Los Osos High School's Building Industry Technology Academy (BITA), a construction training curriculum now active in almost 40 high schools statewide. Before BITA, Ryan had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. Construction always interested him, and now, he has a 10-year plan and a passion to pursue. "In 5 years from now, I see myself as a journeyman roofer and drywaller. 10 years from now I see myself still working in construction doing roofing and installing drywalling," says Ryan. 

The Impact of Your Support

When you donate to the California Homebuilding Foundation, you are literally paying it forward. You can see your investment at work through growing educational programs, watching students gain access to advanced construction training and learning, and stronger career opportunities. Through endowment gifts, or by direct donations and grant funding, you are literally investing in the next generation of construction workers, associates and homebuilders.



Students who have experienced the BITA Program


Percent of scholarship recipients who seek long-term building careers


Students supported with OSHA-10 training vouchers


Download 2021 Scholarship Impact Report