Walk in Their Shoes is the powerful, personal story of Jim Ziolkowski's inspiring mission to change the world one community at a time, hailed by the Dalai Lama as “an inspiring tribute to the power of compassion and education: the keys to leading a meaningful life.”
At age twenty-five, Jim Ziolkowski gave up his career in corporate finance to create a not-for-profit organization that turns inner-city youths into community leaders at home and abroad. Under Jim’s leadership, high school students from the South Bronx to San Francisco have contributed more than 1.2 million hours of direct community service, and over the past twenty years, the organization has also constructed more than 550 schools in the world’s economically poorest countries, from Haiti to Nepal.
Jim's tale of far-flung adventures in the most remote corners of the world and America’s toughest inner-cities is a moving testament to the power of faith and teamwork, and shows that when we give, we also help—and heal—ourselves.
Walk in Their Shoes is the story of buildOn’s inspirational work with at-risk teens, its indelible influence on communities around the world, and of the man whose vision, faith, and conviction made it all possible. Jim Ziolkowski “believed that one person could indeed change the world, and his story may inspire others to do the same” (Publishers Weekly).
“Jim Ziolkowski’s rare commitment to children living in poverty in the US and abroad is an inspiration to me. Walk in Their Shoes tells his moving and unique story with heart, humility and even a touch of humor. Perhaps more importantly, Jim’s tenacity in the face of many hardships and doubts offers an illuminating example of the human capacity to transform faith into action.”
– Cheryl Strayed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild
“Walk in Their Shoes is an inspiring tribute to the power of compassion and education: the keys to leading a meaningful life.”
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“Ziolkowski’s life and work give testimony that service is the hallway that leads to the ballroom of kinship and exquisite mutuality. This is a heartfelt and brave account of gulfs being bridged, distances erased, and offers the hope that the illusion that we are separate can be obliterated. Both buildOn and its founder have helped us inch closer to dismantling the barriers that exclude.”
– Gregory Boyle, author of Tattoos on the Heart
“The answer is yes. Yes, one person can change the world. This book will challenge you and inspire you and push you to understand that you can (and should) make a difference.”
– Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception
“Ziolkowski balances sobering facts with an approachable writing style. His unflinching determination drove him to establish over 500 schools . . . He believed that one person could indeed change the world, and his story may inspire others to do the same.”