Meet Max and Nono: two friends cycling across 20 countries to support Pencils of Promise students

Pencils of Promise
February 21, 2019

Max and Nono are biking across 20 countries to support Pencils of Promise students around the world.

Recent college grads, the duo are cycling from Berlin to Beijing for Pencils of Promise. Max and Nono believe that borders shouldn’t define opportunity, and they are spreading this message through digital fundraising efforts where supporters can follow their journey and contribute to their campaign.

Leveraging social media to spread the word, Max and Nono began their journey in September 2018 to push physical boundaries, motivated by their own experiences living in different countries. The journey is making for, as they put it, a “crazy gap year.”

In just six months (and 1/3 of the distance covered!), Max and Nono have exceeded their goal of raising €50,000 to help Pencils of Promise build a school in Guatemala. What began as two friends who set out to learn about new places and raise awareness for a cause they cared about has transformed into a global movement that will impact thousands of students.

“There are days when it’s hard,” admit the two. But “seeing all those beautiful comments people have written—and realizing that we keep getting closer to build this school—is simply exhilarating.”

Because Max and Nono already exceeded their original goal of €50,000, the two friends plan to raise an additional €50,000 with the launch of a new campaign, #LaughingForLearning. They’ll be encouraging their network of supporters to post smiling selfies and include a favorite memory from school, with the goal of raising awareness about education’s power to inspire.

We are so grateful for supporters like Max and Nono, who inspire us to challenges ourselves and create a brighter future. As a #PoPFam and global community, we all have the opportunity to help unlock the promise of students around the world and use social media to do good.


Our #PoPFam is always growing. We’d love for you to join us.

Visit Max and Nono’s campaign page here and read more about their cycling progress here. Keep an eye out for #LaughingForLearning, which launches on the International Day of Happiness (March 20th).