Pencils of Promise Raises $1.2 Million for Education Advocacy at NYC Anniversary Gala

Over the weekend, Pencils of Promise (PoP) celebrated its anniversary at the iconic Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The gala, hosted by PoP’s CEO Kailee Scales, marks 15 years of empowering communities through education and raised a total of $1.2 million. 

Among the honorees were Hip Hop icons Ja Rule and Doug E. Fresh for their role as disruptors and advocates of social change. Ja Rule was honored with the PoP Audacious Award for his work with his L.I.F.E. Foundation, short for Love Ignites Freedom and Education, to support vulnerable youth through art, music, poetry, and sports programming. Doug E. Fresh and Dr. Olajide Williams were acknowledged for their unprecedented work in health literacy through Hip Hop Public Health and received the PoP Transformation Award. 

At the end of the event, CEO Kailee Scales presented a children’s book she authored called Dreams Unfold: The Pencils of Promise Adventure. The book features illustrations by children from Ghana, Guatemala, and Laos, and it tells the story of how these communities have improved with the help of Pencils of Promise. It emphasizes the power of dreams, unity, and action in creating positive change globally.

Pencils of Promise is a for-purpose organization founded in 2008 with the goal of increasing access to quality education for children in the global south. Pencils of Promise works with communities across the globe to build schools and create programs that provide educational opportunities for children. PoP has created high-quality learning environments that have impacted more than 800,000 students, parents, and community members throughout Ghana, Guatemala, and Laos, establishing itself as a leader amongst the innovative global nonprofits working toward sustainable social change. For more information, please visit the website at

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Updated: October 17, 2023 — 6:02 pm