August 12, 2011

PLI Update!

Here's an update on PoP's Leadership Institute! Our next seminar is Wednesday, August 17th - find out how to sign up for this unique opportunity below! The seminars include a fun environment hosted by the PoP staff, with an eclectic group of speakers aspiring to pass on tons of valuable information and ideas. Enjoy the recap of last weeks PLI and be sure to sign up for our final summer seminar if you can!

This summer, Pencils of Promise has been offering a series of free seminars for high school students called the PoP Leadership Institute (PLI). Each session, there are around four speakers with diverse backgrounds and stories to speak to us about topics such as social entrepreneurship, social media, and non-profit organizations. August 4th was the third session out of the five. Speakers included executive director of the Millennium Campus Network, Sam Vaghar; the founder and executive director of Pencils of Promise, Adam Braun; Director of BlueStreak, Adam Tichauer; and COO of DoSomething.org, Aria Finger.

As the first speaker of the day, Sam Vaghar led an activity in which students were asked to get to know each other by sharing what they were passionate about. He then proceeded to explain that everyone should have a passion in life, whether it is rescuing abused animals or it is to dance. He went on to say that there are many ways to tie your passions to possible job opportunities. His main piece of advice to us was to always take risks under any circumstances (as many of our previous speakers havesaid): you’ll never get anything without asking!

Then, PoP’s founder Adam Braun shared his story with us, starting with his travels and college days to how PoP got started. As PoP spends 49% of its focus on empowering young people to create social good, he stressed that even high school students could make a difference in the world despite the preconceived notion that the younger generation lacks experience and knowledge. In addition, similar to our previous speaker, he strongly advised that we “step out of our comfort zone” as much as possible, as travelling out of his comfort zone was the inspiration for getting PoP started. After Adam Braun’s inspiring story, his close friend Adam Tichauer, who has supported PoP since its start, gave the students a few tips on how to succeed in thebusiness world. Giving a presentation called “The Things They Don’t Teach in School That Are More Important For Your Career Than Long Division”. His first piece of advice was that we learn how to network effectively- the more people you know, more opportunities will arise for you. Secondly, he recommended that we all learn how to use the computer program Excel as it can come in handy for almost all jobs. Last but not least, he gave one piece of general advice- find a skill or passion that you enjoy and excel at, and become the absolute best at it. The last speaker, Aria Finger, introduced us to the organization she works at, dosomething.org. She spoke enthusiastically about finding your passion, what DoSomething does, and how to get involved with them. Explaining that the organization directs at least two or three nationwide campaigns every month, she stressed that there was a way for everyone to get involved by supporting a cause they were passionate about. We have more outstanding speakers scheduled for our next two sessions- if you are interested in attending on Wednesday, August 17th please feel free to sign up at www.pencilsofpromise.org/pli! If you have any questions, please call the PoP office: 1-(212)-777-3170 or email PoP’s Director of Community Engagement, Jocelyn Kmet at jocelyn@pencilsofpromise.org.

Carlo Dumandan

Digital Media Manager