By Jessica Lyons
Pencils of Promise (PoP), a non-profit organization founded in 2008, builds needed schools in developing countries. It has already built more than 25 schools in countries like Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala, which serve over 1,000 students. PoP works with local communities throughout the process and provides support to the schools after completion.
Getting Students Involved
Another aspect of PoP's stated mission is to train the youth to become leaders. Children from all over the world and as young as seven have gotten involved with PoP. In addition to offering internship opportunities, PoP encourages students to participate by simply helping to spread the word about the organization or even by holding a fundraiser. Their website includes instructions for how students can raise money by organizing art shows, pajama days, picnics, treasure hunts or lemonade stands.
Schools 4 All
Another way PoP has recently gotten students active is through the campaign Schools 4 All. Students were encouraged to create their own online fundraising page through PoP's website and were then given a link to their page to send out to their classmates, family and friends. Just a week before the campaign's June 30 end, some of the top fundraisers had already raised more than $10,000.
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PoP used the support of teenage singer Justin Bieber to help motivate the students during the Schools 4 All campaign. Bieber, along with PoP founder Adam Braun, will visit the winner's school. Additionally, four trips to Guatemala were given out so that students could visit a PoP team and see their work in action.
This isn't the first time that Bieber has supported PoP. For Valentine's Day, a portion of the proceeds from special 'Justin Bieber bouquets' through 1-800-Flowers were donated to PoP. It has also been reported that Bieber donates one dollar from every one of his concert ticket sales to PoP.
It's Not Too Late to Get Involved
If you missed out on the Schools 4 All campaign, there are still ways to support PoP. If you visit the organization's 'Students for PoP' page on its website you can find resources for getting involved. You can also find out details for doing a fundraiser or even starting a PoP Club at your school. If you have any concerns along the way, PoP has a Director of Youth Programming who can answer your questions.
Interested in doing volunteer work between high school and college? You might want to consider volunteering with Raleigh International during a gap year.