The Promise of a Pencil – Adam Braun

Th Promise of a Pencil - 2015 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Adam Braun author of The Promise of a Pencil

The Promise of a Pencil:How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change                                   Adam  Braun


A pencil a simple writing instrument that many of us couldn’t wait to leave behind and move on to the mighty pen! But as Adam Braun visited many countries while he attended the Semester at Sea program, he asked children what they would want most, if they could have anything in the world. What he discovered was that many children wanted simple things like: to dance, or a book, one wanted a pencil, just a plain old ordinary No. 2 pencil! What Adam realized was that every pencil holds a promise to many of the world’s poorest children, that the simple pencil  was a symbol, a portal to creativity, curiosity and possibility! So for the rest of the semester Adam handed out pencils to children where ever he went.

Then one night after Adam returned to New York, Adam attended a performance of the New York Philharmonic and as he listened to a very passionate pianist he thought “If I could feel as strongly about any one thing in the world,as this man feels about his piano, I know I would be fulfilled”. Soon his thoughts returned to the time he handed out those pencils and the joy he felt through that act. He coupled those thoughts with his desire to build a school one day, and suddenly a name came to mind – Pencils of Promise. From those thoughts and a $25.00 deposit to create Pencils of Promise, has sprung and amazing “For-purpose” organization that has built over 250 schools in Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Ghana. Adam has in turned been called….

“A leader amongst an emerging generation of change makers who are proving that every person can be a force for positive change.” by Ann Veneman,Former Executive Director of UNICEF

From his webpage:

In 2015 he became the Director of the Global Education Platform, an initiative conceived by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education to use technology to accelerate internet-based learning around the world.

He has been named to Business Insider’s 40 Under 40 list, Wired Magazine’s 50 People Who Are Changing the World, and was selected by the World Economic Forum’s at one of their first ten “Global Shapers.” He has also been a featured speaker at The White House, United Nations and Clinton Global Initiative.Read More

He is also a best-selling author of the book The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Creat an Extraordinary Change which chronicles the development of Pencils of Promises It is also the fifth book I have read this year, and the first of my 2015 Non-Fiction Reading Challenge books.

While he may see himself as an ordinary person, Adam Braun, a magna cum laude graduate of Brown, is anything but an ordinary. He is truly an amazing and inspiring person! The book is a marvelous glimpse into his world and his extraordinary accomplishments. Each of the chapter titles are also his Mantras for creating extraordinary change.. Mantra 2 Get Out of Your Comfort Zone  struck a chord with me since I have not done that very often in my 63 years! Mantra 5 – Do the Small things that make others feel big is another favorite! I think I need to make a poster of all 26 mantras!

Here’s what some others have to say about The Promise of a Pencil

“A remarkably inspiring story that shares the essential lessons to creating a life of meaning, passion and purpose” – Deepak Chopra

“A compelling and singular story filled with universal truths everyone needs to hear” – Cory Booker

Links for further explorations of Adam Braun, The Promise of a Pencil and Pencils of Promise
Facebook:Adam Braun
Facebook:Pencils of Promise
Twitter:Adam Braun
Pencils of

You also can watch:”How To Change The World & Live Your Purpose w/ Adam Braun” on MariaTV Here As for me, I think I need to think about how I can raise some money for Pencils of Promise…..