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One of the first people to believe in PoP and make it a reality was Lanoy Keosuvan, who was a guesthouse worker in Laos when Adam met her. Although her job was to serve travelers, Lanoy dreamed of living a life of purpose. She was a hard worker and had a huge heart -- this caught the attention of Adam Braun when he came to Laos to build PoP's first school. Lanoy's determination, optimism, and work ethic led her to become the PoP Laos Country Director where she has changed the lives of thousands of children.
Adam Braun started Pencils of Promise with a deposit of just $25. He set out to prove that small donations could make a big difference, and that anyone’s contribution to PoP was significant. His first fundraising activity was his 25th birthday party, where he asked guests to make a $20 donation at the door instead of a gift. Since his friends and family would have brought gifts otherwise, Adam knew providing access to education was the best gift of all.
Andrew Gray was one of our earliest supporters, and one of the people who has proven that anyone can make a difference. Although he was still in high school when he first heard about us, Andrew didn't want to wait to be part of the PoP Family. Since he didn't have large funds of his own to donate, he started a club at his high school to bring many students together in support of our organization. Andrew wasn't content to work only in his own school; he encouraged the creation of PoP Clubs at high schools and colleges across the country, and these groups of young people have become awareness and fundraising powerhouses for Pencils of Promise.