Pencils of Promise

Pencils of Promise (PoP) is a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases educational opportunities in the developing world. Pencils of Promise was founded by Adam Braun in October 2008. It is a 501(c)(3) organization with education programs in Laos, Guatemala and Ghana. As of January 2015, the charity has provided 24.3 million education hours.[1] As of December 2016, the charity has served over 35,000 students and built 380 schools.[citation needed]


Origin of name

The name comes from an incident in India when Braun was visiting the country in March 2005 while a student on the Semester at Sea study abroad program. He asked a poor street child what he wished to have most of all. The boy answered: "a pencil", so Braun gave him his pen, hence the name of the charity.[2] Realizing how important education was in many developing countries, Braun visited more than 50 countries distributing pencils to children wherever he went. In October 2008, he established the charity with the aim of providing quality education to children in some of the most underserved countries around the world.[3]


Pencils of Promise believes every child should have access to quality education. They create schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal of education for all.[4] Pencils of Promise focuses on building strong structures and sustainable education programs by forming long-lasting, collaborative relationships with communities. Sites are picked taking into account need, sustainability, cost efficiency, impact and commitment. The facilities are built with local labor and material. The charity also supports projects through ongoing teacher training, progression scholarships and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) programming.


The charity is supported by a number of celebrities and most prominently by Scooter Braun, a well-known entertainment manager, and elder brother of the founder. Also involved from the first days of the organization is one of Scooter Braun's biggest acts, Justin Bieber[5] who has lent his voice as an international celebrity spokesman for the organization[6] by running ads for the charity and its campaign Schools4All[7] and promising to visit schools that donate the most funds to the organization.[8] Bieber takes part in the charity's fund-raising galas and donates parts of proceeds of his concerts and line of fragrances "Someday"[9] and various merchandising to the charity.

DJ 3LAU is also a major supporter of the charity.[10] With the proceeds from his remix "Back to New", 3LAU raised $25,000 for the charity and helped to build Justo Rufino Primary School in Guatemala. For his most recent tour 3LAU raised over $10,000 towards building a second school for the charity.[11]

American podcaster Pat Flynn serves on the advisory board for Pencils of Promise.[12]

Pencils of Promise has a partnership with the bracelet company Lokai. On Giving Tuesday in 2014, Lokai donated funds for every tweet or Instagram post about Pencils of Promise shared, in total funding four schools that now educate over 400 Ghanaian students.[13]


  1. ^ "Going Global? The Growing Movement to Let Kids Learn Just by Tinkering". WIRED. October 17, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Conversation: 'Pencils of Promise'". ABC News. January 28, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  3. ^ (Press Release)
  4. ^ Huffington Post: The New Nonprofit – Pencils of Promise
  5. ^ Rachel Levine (November 18, 2011). "Pencils of Promise's Adam Braun Talks Justin Bieber: "He's As Grounded As He's Always Been"". OK! USA. Archived from the original on December 24, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  6. ^ Shirley Halperin (July 28, 2011). "Adam Braun on Pencils of Promise and How Justin Bieber Is 'Making the World Better'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  7. ^ Caroline Walker (April 15, 2011). "Justin Bieber wants (a) Schools for all (b) To visit you, or (c) Both?". MTV website. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  8. ^ 2011 promotional campaign by Adam Braun and Justin Bieber for "Pencils for Promise" on YouTube
  9. ^ Shirley Halperin (July 20, 2011). "Justin Bieber: 'With Time Off, I'm Able to Think, Pray and Grow Up'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  10. ^ "Inside Vanderbilt profile". December 3, 2013. Archived from the original on December 4, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  11. ^ "CBS Local profile". December 3, 2013. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "Pencils of Promise fundraising letter". Pencils of Promise. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Lokai". Lokai. Retrieved 2017-04-04.

External links