Our Blog

June 27, 2012

Letter From Our Founder

Our founder, Adam Braun, has a special message for all of our supporters: I recently returned from a trip to visit our schools, staff and students in Guatemala. What I saw completely blew me away. The dedication and commitment of the Guatemalan people, in particular those on the Pencils of Promise staff, towards the attainment of education for Guatemalan children was unparalleled. The only thing more inspiring was the excitement of shrieking kids as they ran into their newly inaugurated school classrooms. We have come a long way since our simple beginnings several years ago. With more than 50 schools in operation, and a lofty goal to break ground on 50 more by the end of the year, our ambitions to help enable global education continue to grow and grow each day. But this is only made possible by the support of you, the PoP Community, so this summer we're simply saying thank you. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your kindness. And thank you for taking action on behalf of the children around the world without access to education. We have made great progress in the past few years together, and we're just getting started. Adam Braun Founder, Executive Director


$25 educates a child for one year.

Take action to help us reach 100 schools in 2012.

May 25, 2012

Xeabaj, Guatemala Gets a New Primary School With The Help of Some Special Friends!

On Monday, May 21st, the community of Xeabaj, Guatemala and Pencils of Promise inaugurated a primary school thanks to the generous support of Andrew Bachman and Robert E. Dickey. Prior to this build, Xeabaj had two deteriorating classrooms with dirt floors, which would turn to mud during the rainy season. Luckily, the school was completed just in time for the students to maintain attendance while learning in a safe environment! Below are some photos to recount this special day for PoP and Xeabaj!

The inauguration was a highly celebratory occasion with dancing, speeches, lunch, and also welcomed guests, including Founder of Pencils of Promise Adam Braun and adamant PoP supporter, actress Sophia Bush.  Once again, our warmest thanks to our friends Andrew Bachman and Robert E. Dickey for doing their part to bring education for all!
May 11, 2012

Justin Bieber, Shaq, and Adam Braun Hoop It Up To Benefit PoP

At the end of PoP's first-ever Gala last November, celebrities and supporters alike were excited to bid for a spur-of-the-moment offer to play a game of basketball with Shaquille O'niel, Justin Beiber, and PoP's founder, Adam Braun. The game was set to be played at Shaq's house, and last month this legendary game finally took place. Check out a picture from it below!

@AdamBraun: “Doing my best to guard @Shaq.. Bball for PoP w @justinbieber @kennyhamilton @scooterbraun.”

Justin also mentioned on his Twitter, "JUST had a Great Day playing ball at @shaq’s house with the big guy, @adambraun @kennyhamilton @scooterbraun and others for @pencilsofpromise"

April 19, 2012

Justin Bieber and Adam Braun Visit St. Andrew’s School To Congratulate Schools 4 All Winners

This past Friday, Justin Bieber and Adam Braun made a trip down to Boca Raton, Florida to congratulate our Schools 4 All winners, the Finocchiaro children. Read more about the exciting visit here...

Last year, Pencils of Promise launched the Schools4All Campaign, which created a worldwide competition between students to raise the most money for PoP. The grand prize: a visit to the winner's school from teen idol, Justin Bieber and PoP's founder, Adam Braun. Although the competition was high, Briana Finocchiaro, 12, and her twin siblings, Angelia and Nicolas, ages 9 came out with the victory, raising $51,738.50! Thanks to the Finocchiaro family's hard work and fundraising, St. Andrew's School was awarded an afternoon presence of both Justin and Adam. Fans shrieked, screamed, and sobbed when Justin rolled up in his beige SUV. Adam then gave a presentation on PoP to the auditorium of excited fans. After congratulating the Finocchiaro children, Justin then performed a brief version of "Baby" to the crowd. The students of St. Andrew's School were thrilled to host both Adam and Justin for the afternoon. After the event, Justin tweeted  “met some amazing kids who are helping change the world with their work with @pencilsofpromis" – #MAKEACHANGE Congratulations Briana, Angelia, and Nicolas! Inspired by the Finocchiaro kids? You can create your own fundraiser here! Photos By JustinBieberZone.com
January 23, 2012

Live Your Passion: Adam Braun Interview with Melissa Kong

Check out some of Adam's latest interview with Melissa Kong at the Student Branding Blog! Adam shares his thoughts on the importance of getting out of your comfort zone, starting a movement, and finding your purpose.. Incredibly inspiring! Here are some excepts. Read the full interview here! MK: Did you always know what you wanted to do? AB: I didn’t know until I started traveling. Within the first few weeks of being in the developing world, I knew that was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life working on. I was 21 years old when I figured out exactly what I wanted to do–and I felt and still feel very fortunate, because a sense of purpose is one of the hardest things to find. When you find what your purpose is, you are able to steer your compass directly towards it. MK: What are the traits of successful leaders? AB: The first is ambition. People that are successful entrepreneurs just want their success so much more than other people are willing to put on the line. The other thing is vulnerability. I think successful leaders have an element of personal vulnerability that they tap into. They recognize when something is scary and they might be wrong, but that allows them to be personally humble, while exuding extreme confidence onto an idea that is bigger than them. So, I can be insanely confident about PoP, as long as I can balance that with personal humility–it allows successful entrepreneurs to push forward an idea rather than themselves. And finally, a great work ethic is critical. Successful leaders spend way more hours on their work than the average person. MK: What advice would you give to current students seeking to live their passions? AB:  First, get out of your comfort zone. Travel. Go beyond the places that make you feel safe, and then you’ll figure out who you are, what makes you feel most alive. The second thing is to surround yourself with people who push you to grow. People that aren’t excited to see you change are not people who will help you become more successful and passionate about something that you care about. The third is to be willing to be wrong. Those people who have succeeded? It’s their third, and fourth and tenth time. But, you only know about that one beacon of success. There is this notion that if you don’t hit it out of the park on your first try, you should stop trying. That goes back to the vulnerability, where you maybe will be scared and know that you could be wrong, but you go for it anyway. Just try. Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s OK. Just move in that direction. Move in the direction of what you love, and you’ll be happy.