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Slideshow: Pencils of Promise Leadership Institute

   /   Aug 24th, 2011Education, New York City, News

Photographs by Oscar Pocasangre | Text by Blair Hickman

It’s run mainly by people under thirty. It occupies an office in the hip Lower East Side. They’ve snagged endorsement from Justin Bieber.

In short: Pencils of Promise exists to empower youth. They call it “The 49%,” the half of their mission devoted to fostering a generation of changemakers. The other 51% of their energy goes toward building schools in developing countries.

But it’s that 49% that we think sets PoP apart and may, as founder Adam Braun said in this Journey of Action video, make PoP the defining nonprofit of the Millenial generation. It’s a ripple effect, spread with several strategies: junior boards scattered across the states, fundraising campaigns that target school-age kids and advocacy toolkits customized for a range of demographics.

This summer, Pencils of Promise also hosted a series of free Leadership Institutes for high school students, held in New York City. By bringing in speakers like Warby Parker’s Niel Blumenthal, each day-long event aimed to teach participants the essentials of changemaking leadership: public speaking, entrepreneurship, advocacy. The list goes on.

Dowser attended the institute on July 27th. We live-blogged the event, which you can find here, and also compiled this photo essay to give you a better idea of what it’s like. Check out the slideshow to see young changemakers in action:

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