It’s not everyday you find yourself being honored alongside the biggest pop star in the world…
… but last Thursday, on a chilly November evening in New York City, that’s exactly where we were. At the first annual Pencils of Promise Gala, more than 500 people gathered to celebrate the incredible work of Pencils of Promise (PoP) and honor the efforts of Justin Bieber, Scooter Braun and AgencyNet.
Born from a $25 bank deposit and sustained by the passion and donated efforts of a fleet of young volunteers, Pencils of Promise operates in some of the poorest regions of the world, combining community outreach, leadership training and school construction to build sustainable educational opportunities in the developing world. Since it’s humble beginnings four years ago, PoP has broken ground on 50+ schools in the developing world and has empowered young leaders to take action, both here and abroad.
“The PoP Gala was the culmination of three years, more than fifty schools and thousands of peoples’ efforts,” said Adam Braun founder of the organization. “We collectively raised over $1MM to enable the education of countless children in the developing world, and we were so excited to honor AgencyNet as one of the three honorees of the evening.” In fact, the Gala raised enough money to build 40 schools in the developing world and will allow Pencils of Promise to break ground in Africa next year.
We began working with Pencils of Promise in early 2010. Moved and inspired by their mission, the dedication of their team, and the passion of their founder, our team donated their time and effort to help them with their Digital strategy and to rebuild their award-winning website from the ground up. Read more about that here.
We were so proud of AgencyNet’s CEO Richard Lent when he got up to accept the award. ”This organization is different. You can feel it in Adam’s passion. You can feel it in the energy of PoP’s supporters. And you can feel it here in this room,” said Richard.
To make event even more special, our team decided to prepare a little gift of innovation to commemorate the evening.
To remind the attendees why PoP exists, we created a custom “digital guestbook” that ran on portable tablets that the PoP staff walked around with during the cocktail hour. At the event, participants were asked to sign the guestbook and reveal their hopes for a generation empowered.
Their thoughts are now shared at our ‘Quilt of Promises’ which you can find at: pencilsofpromise.org/quilt/. We hope they will serve as a source of inspiration and memory of a magical evening.
Additionally, AgencyNet Art Director Melanie Newson created four beautiful bespoke canvas artworks inspired by the poems A Pencil Transforms and The Impossible Ones to be auctioned off at the event.
We had a wonderful time and could not be more humbled to be honored by such a wonderful organization.
Check out a video recap of the evening here.
See some of the photos from the star-studded event below:
Follow TEN: @agencyTEN