We fundamentally believe that a day will come in our lifetimes when every single child will have access to a quality education, and we will continue to work tirelessly in breaking down the restraints of today to enable the possibilities of tomorrow.
Education is the vehicle for change, and teachers are going to have a large impact on the future generations, and helping them become leaders. But, this article is geared more towards how anyone can affect education, and how one small thought can transform into an international nonprofit organization that is truly changing the game for education across the globe.
As an elementary education major, I think about my future classroom and students a lot. I am constantly trying to combine my love of helping others and teaching, and I am so excited to be a teacher someday soon.
I came across this organization called Pencils of Promise a few years ago when Justin Bieber went on his "My World Tour." I became familiar with various members of his team, especially his manager Scooter Braun. Justin was promoting Pencils of Promise, and I decided to check it out. What I found was one man with a dream to change the world.
Adam Braun attended Brown University played basketball and lived his dream acquiring various internships. And he soon realized "true self discovery starts where your comfort zone ends," and decided to spend a semester at sea. In each country Adam visited, he asked the children, "If you could have anything in the world, what would you want most?"
One boy he met surprised him and said that he would want a pencil. Adam saw the boy light up and realized the pencil was way more than something to write with, it was a symbol of hope. The boy saw the pencil as a tool to unlock his sense of creativity and for self discovery. This little boy inspired Adam to create his nonprofit organization called Pencils of Promise. You can watch more of his inspirational story here.
Children around the world are having more access to learning than ever before, and it is all thanks to people like Adam who realized there was a problem and sought a way to resolve it. Since 2009, Pencils of Promise has built 336 schools, and they are not done yet. They also offer scholarships for students and support for teachers. From one little boy asking for a pencil to creating a nonprofit that gives so many children access to education and opportunity, Adam makes pursuing our own dreams seem possible.
In many of my education classes, we read and talk about unequal access and opportunity facing our nation's children when it comes to school. It can be depressing to think about these unfortunate realities, and especially as a teacher that we cannot have much control over them. But, it is stories like Adam's that remind me that even as one individual, I can change the world. It might not be today, or tomorrow, but it will happen.
For so many children who grew up with nothing, a pencil can make all the difference.
Adam's story is inspirational, and I want you all to think about how you can change the world. Big change is made up of small actions. If you have an idea, then stick with it and ask for help. You never know, someone else might have similar interests, and next thing you know, you both have changed the world.
Donate here to help Pencils of Promise build more schools! Now, go out and change the world.