The Global Uplift Project
Apr 28, 2023
Robert Freeman
The Global Uplift Project

Robert Freeman, The founder of the Global Uplift Project became homeless in high school, so joined the U.S. Merchant Marines, where he sailed for 6 years. He then came to bay area and at the age of 28, earned a B.S. at Santa Clara University.  At 35—as the old man in his class—he earned an MBA from Stanford. Robert joined the computer industry and rose to become Vice President at Sybase, one of the largest software companies in the world.  

Then, in 2000, at the age of 47, he left software industry to become a high school teacher.  He taught for 16 years at Los Altos High School.  In 2012, he was named Bay Area Teacher of the Year by the San Francisco 49ers organization.  

In 2007, while at Los Altos High School, Robert founded One Dollar For Life, or ODFL.  ODFL invited high school students to donate one dollar, and used those funds to build classrooms and medical clinics in the developing world. 

In 2020, in order to accommodate adults, ODFL changed its name to The Global Uplift Project, or Tea-Gup (TGUP).  The work remains the same, but now adults are able to participate.  

Since its founding in 2007, ODFL/TGUP has built more than 300 low-cost, small-scale, high impact infrastructure projects in 22 of the poorest countries in the world.  Over their full lives, those projects will help almost 2 million of the poorest people in the world have just a slightly better chance in life.