Cipriani Wall Street was filled with hues of black and gold last night, as the nonprofit organization, Pencils of Promise hosted their annual Gala, entitled “An Evolution Within.” There were a few notable attendees, from Lil Jon to Trevor Noah to Twitter celebrity Brother Nature. The Gala raised over $1.5 million to provide quality education for children around the world. Learn more about Pencils of Promise, the evening’s honorees, and the event here.
What is the non-profit organization, Pencils of Promise?
Based in New York City, this organization creates educational opportunities for children around the world. It’s been over ten years since Pencils of Promise (PoP) launched. Since then, the group built over 510 schools. They currently support over 102,000 students throughout Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Ghana.
“I have always been passionate about education,” Tanya Ramos, CEO of Pencils of Promise, said. “It changed the trajectory of my life. I grew up in New York in poverty among many whose lives turned out very different from my own. The opportunity to get a quality education gave me the chance in life that many of my peers, in my neighborhood, did not have. I was determined to help others have that same opportunity.”
“Education is the key to changing the world,” said Timothy Sykes, Co-founder of Karmagawa. “We need to value it much more. It’s crazy that people don’t respect it that much, especially in this country, so we’re trying to get the word out.”
Lil Jon, Trevor Noah, and other celebrities attended this year’s Pencils of Promise Gala, entitled ‘An Evolution Within’
Pencils of Promise accepts donations and performs other events throughout the year. However, their annual Gala is one of their biggest nights for fundraising. This year, over 500 people attended, raising over $1.5 million for the organization’s cause. Honorees at this year’s gala included Lil Jon (Visionary Award,) Karmagawa (Philanthropist Award,) and Trevor Noah (Activist Award.)
“Our gala is our single largest annual fundraiser and enables us to end the year strong and set us up for our next year of impact and growth,” Tanya Ramos, PoP CEO said. “My goal is to celebrate our work, around the globe, and continue to build schools and provide programming that [enables] our students to leave our schools literate. We are unlocking the potential of our 100,00 students and everyone in the room makes it all possible.”
The Gala raised over $1.5 million to support Pencils of Promise and their cause
Notable attendees gave speeches regarding the impact of education and of Pencils of Promise. That includes rapper Lil Jon, who shared a story regarding the nonprofit’s work he’s seen first hand. Grammy-winner singer/songwriter Yebba performed original songs. Comedian Trevor Noah personally auctioned off tickets and meet and greet experiences for The Daily Show.
“I grew up in a family where everyone was deprived an opportunity for education but I was lucky enough that I had a mother and grandmother who sought out an education they were not allowed to have, and because of that I’ve reaped the rewards eternally,” Trevor Noah said.