By: Kasey Wilcox
Of the many important philanthropic causes I find an interest in, I value childhood education as one of the most important. Not because fighting cancer or childhood obesity is any less a priority, but because I know that I would be not be the same without it. An alarming number of 250 million children around the world of primary age lack basic reading, writing, and math skills (Pencils of Promise, 2008). Thus, I have developed a deep connection and care for Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that sends children to school with trained teachers with $250 scholarships.
This past fall as part of a semester-long Junior Writing Topics project, I chose to raise money for Pencils of Promise to send a child to school. With the help of family and friends I was able to send two children to school in Laos and Guatemala. I’d love to continue working alongside Pencils of Promise and send another child to school- one to match my brother, my sister, and myself. The more I have researched the non-profit organization and have been educated lasting effects education can make in a child’s life, I have realized how fortunate my siblings and I have been to receive the education that we did. We may have complained 5 out of the 7 mornings a week from the early days of kindergarten and thought it was torturous, however education has given us unbelievable opportunities and character. Every child has the right to education and it is baffling that around the world, 58 million children at primary school age are not attending school- that’s 4 times the population of New England (Equitable Access, 2014). That staggering number not only affects the 58 million children, but their communities and future generations.
Since the start up of the non-profit organization 6 years ago, Pencils of Promise has worked to raise funds through student run-sectors at high schools and universities around the world, as well as through teams individuals form to raise funds for their own personal goal of making a difference. So much of PoP’s work is done by active students who want to see positive change, so I believe crowdfunding as a social activism class for Pencils of Promise would be an extraordinary opportunity. Practice what you preach, right?