Katie Bishop, member and co-chair of the Brighton High School PoP team, shared with us that her introduction to Pencils of Promise came through her dad when she was a sophomore. After he heard PoP founder, Adam Braun, speak at a conference, he spread the word about PoP’s work to Katie. She knew right then and there, she just had to get involved, and brought her friend, fellow Brighton High classmate, Emma, on board. Together, they built on their passion for PoP by reading Adam’s book The Promise of a Pencil, and by learning more about the 250 million children around the world who lack basic reading and writing skills.
Soon enough, Katie and Emma found the perfect opportunity, and the Brighton High School PoP team was born. They rallied a group of many more students and began their tremendous fundraising efforts. These efforts would eventually lead to raising enough funds for a full school build, along with support for PoP’s educational programming.
Emma expressed to us just what it was that compelled the team to fundraise for PoP: “We live in Brighton, Michigan where we are fortunate enough to have 2 preschools, 4 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and a high school! We wanted to be able to share our blessings with children who don’t have access to even one school!” Not only does the Brighton High PoP team know how lucky they’ve been to be granted endless opportunity, but they recognize the urgency and eagerly take on the challenge to ensure that more children around the world can one day have that same access to quality education that they do.
One of the team’s innovative fundraising efforts was an event that the school dubbed as, ‘Senior Survivor Week.’ For this event, twenty senior students were picked to move into the school for an entire week, highlighting various campaign efforts and camping out in the high school’s library for those seven days on air mattresses, tents and hammocks.
In competition against one another, on set teams, they worked to fundraise for PoP, both before and during the week, through orchestrating trivia nights, finding various business sponsors, selling treats and initiating various challenges to prompt donations.
The Brighton High School PoP team’s story exemplifies just how a small group of determined individuals can spark major change around the world. As Katie shared with PoP, “Education is the common thread that brings us together but it was together that we were able to accomplish so much.”
We’re so inspired by groups like this. Keep goin’, team Brighton High!
Our PoP family is always growing. We’d love for you to join us.
Visit Brighton High School’s campaign page here.