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Pencils of Promise to Make A Point at Penn State

If there’s one thing Penn State students are good at, it’s helping those in need. From dancing for 46 hours at THON to building houses for Habitat for Humanity, Nittany Lions are never shy to support a cause. Just last week, Penn State welcomed its own Pencils of Promise chapter into its philanthropic family that will dedicate its efforts to increasing educational opportunities in the developing world.

Pencils of Promise, known as PoP for short, was founded in October 2008 by Adam Braun after an encounter with a young boy in India. When asked what he wanted most in the world, the boy responded quite simply: a pencil. After seeing the delight in his eyes upon receiving his wish, Braun embarked on a mission to spread the same promise to other children around the world. He traveled to over 50 countries to pass out thousands of pencils and pens to other deserving pupils across six continents. Through these journeys, he recognized the importance of education and the need for an international non-profit to ensure it was widespread and thus, Pencils of Promise was formed.

The organization’s original mission was to build one school, but as the movement gained awareness, it exceeded that expectation. According to its website, Pencils of Promise has built over 150 schools to date. Now, it will continue to grow as Sarah Amendolare launched a chapter of Pencils of Promise at Penn State. She was inspired to make a difference after a volunteer trip to Panama this past summer, where she witnessed the reality and necessity of international education reform.

“When I returned to America, I could not stop wondering what I could do to help these kids gain the quality education they deserve,” Amendolare said. “I feel a sense of urgency toward this problem, and Pencils of Promise is a way for us to leverage the power of our community to serve the international community.”

The Penn State chapter will support Pencils of Promise’s mission by raising the necessary funds to build schools and give communities access to quality education through various fundraising tactics.

The organization is primarily focused on educating others of this worldwide issue and plans to do so through community outreach programs. By spreading awareness, the organization hopes to garner the necessary support that will ultimately give them the opportunity to build a school in a deserving community. Amendolare has high hopes that the Penn State chapter will rise up to the challenge and make a difference in years to come.

“Each time the club hits a certain amount of money raised, a school will be built and named after the Penn State chapter, and two club members will visit the school site,” Amendolare said. “We are aiming to build as many schools as we possibly can and extend our service all over the globe.”

Any and all students are welcomed and encouraged to join the Pencils of Promise at Penn State as it fights to give international communities access to quality education. Meetings and fundraisers will begin after fall break.

For more information, you can follow Pencils of Promise at Penn State on Twitter at PoPatPSU or Facebook at PencilsofPromisePSU.

About the Author

Becca Erdman

Becca is a senior majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Sociology

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