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Join Justin Bieber in Helping to Build Schools

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By Jocelyn Kmet on June 5, 2013

Less than five years ago, a young professional in NYC named Adam Braun put $25 in the bank with the hope of one day building one school in Laos.

This was the humble beginning of an organization called Pencils of Promise (PoP). Through local events and fundraisers, he engaged others like him (and you!) to pull together thousands of small donations to ignite a movement behind the belief that all children deserve access to quality education.

copyright: Nick Onken

Courtesy: Nick Onken

When I met Adam three years ago, he had built 8 schools in Laos and Nicaragua and was working on potential projects in my home country, Guatemala. Since moving to the US in 1999 (to attend American University in DC), I had been hoping to find a way to give back to my country which has been ravaged by violence and poverty. With Pencils of Promise, I knew I had found it. Adam and I started the first Pencils of Promise office in the back of a garment factory, hired an army of interns, and we accelerated our push to get the message out. To date, the organization has accomplished amazing things: 121 schools built and 100,000 lives positively impacted through PoP programs. Oh and we expanded operations into Ghana! Global celebs like Justin Bieber have taken up the cause.

Courtesy: Nick Onken

Courtesy: Nick Onken

Ten months ago, life brought me back to DC, and I have brought my passion for international education with me. I am thrilled to have rallied a team of young professionals to start a fundraising group for PoP in our nation’s capital. We hope to connect with other awesome people who believe that anyone can make a change and that doing good can be fun (yes, it’s ok!).


The Pencils of Promise DC Leadership council is proud to partner with HyperVocal, an organization dedicated to education…and throwing kick-ass parties, to host our first DC fundraising event on Thursday, June 13 at 6pm at Local 16. We ask that all attendees give $25 to the cause, like Adam first did. This ticket will provide education to one child for one year through Pencils of Promise programs. Buy your tickets here, and see you there!

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