Microsoft announced that it will be building 10 new schools in Guatemala with an investment of $500,000 in Pencils of Promise to increase educational opportunities in the developing world.
Pencils of Promise is an organization that started in 2008 with a gift of one pencil from founder Adam Braun to a young boy in India has grown to over 344 schools around the word, changing the lives of nearly 34,000 students.
“There is nothing more powerful than being in the field with an organization to truly understand the impact they are making on the ground. That is why I was thrilled to join Pencils of Promise in Guatemala, where they are working in 155 partner communities to bring quality education to Guatemalan children, who typically only attend school for four short years.”
While in Guatemala, we traveled to five rural communities to unveil and dedicate some of these schools. We met with students, teachers, principals, and community members. There was music and dancing, flowers and fresh coconuts. And, in more than one community, fireworks. Mostly, there were smiles – hundreds of warm, appreciative smiles.
There was so much hope for the future. While only 3 out of 10 Guatemalan children currently finish 6th grade, that is changing. The kids I met had big hopes and dreams and plans for their future, enabled and inspired by their access to quality education. With programs like Pencils of Promise, they are on the path to make those dreams a reality.