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The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change Paperback – February 3, 2015
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Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career But while traveling as a college student he met a young boy begging on the streets of India who would change his life When Braun asked the boy what he wanted most in the world he simply answered a pencil This small request became the inspiration for the organization Braun would one day start taking him on a journey through more than fifty countries and into the heart of self discovery His unique for purpose approach reversed the traditional non profit playbook and in doing so helped redefine how modern movements are created The Promise of a Pencilchronicles Braun s journey to find his calling each chapter explains the steps that every person can take to discover a meaningful life His trailblazing story takes readers behind the scenes with CEO s and village chiefs business moguls and world famous celebrities Driven by compelling stories and shareable insights this is a vivid and inspiring book that will give readers the tools to unlock a sense of purpose passion and meaning in their own lives The riveting New York Times bestseller about a young man who built more than 250 schools around the world and the steps anyone can take to lead a successful and significant life Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career But while traveling he met a young boy begging on the streets of India who after being asked what he wanted most in the world simply answered A pencil This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving a prestigious job to found Pencils of Promise the organization he started with just 25 that has since built more than 250 schools around the world The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun s journey to fi
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Man, I couldn't wait to share with you the uncontrollable excitement that had been generated from reading your book (which I completed in two sittings). I sat down, propped up against the pillows on my bed on the final evening entirely immersed in the emotional ebb and flow of this piece of literature that you've graciously shared with the world. I barely wanted to pause, it was too riveting and mind blowing! I ran to the kitchen for snacks in between some chapters and I even convinced myself that it was time to shower but that clearly did not happen until I ended at the acknowledgements!
Thank you for the journey- it evoked tears, laughter, thrill, hope, motivation and inspiration. As I 'travelled" with you throughout your vast and dynamic adventures, not only did I experience your passionate outlook on humanity and your innate desire to problem solve, I also felt like you were sharing my own personal narrative. In other words, whilst I haven't seen all of this world in the ways that you have, I have had dreams of doing so my entire life and your detailed portrayal of a life lived by completely assimilating yourself in the cultures that you walked into, demonstrated to me your love for people and your overall seriousness to engage and understand. It's through your anecdotes that I was able to understand your character- you seemingly embody cross cultural acceptance and I want to thank you for being fearless and setting examples for others to emulate. You see, although our world has evolved tremendously and is considered globalized and therefore more "unified" and interconnected, we continue to struggle with divisiveness that is still apparent in many areas including the non acceptance of different cultural/racial/ethnic groups. You go against this harsh reality by letting us know that through your social good/social impact (for purpose) approach, you and your team are able to unite so many of us across the world to work towards a common goal-making a difference through the transformation of lives. This Adam is beyond amazing to me.
As a growing Social Entrepreneur, I could relate to your sentiments. In fact, at this stage of my journey I saw the need to dig deeper into social entrepreneurship and so, I begun actively searching for books on Amazon to assist with gaining clarity and insight when I stumbled upon "The Promise of a Pencil" immediately after I ordered People over Profit by Dale Partridge. This was when I learnt about your organization. My enthusiasm and excitement roared because I knew I was being led along the right path. Backpacking across the globe, living minimally and sharing in the cultures of others, caring deeply (so deeply that your core vibrates with no end) for the people who need opportunity and hope, education and accessibility to it. These are passions that reverberate within me daily and I've had this inherent desire to contribute in the same way that you've described... That made this sojourn through your book even more fascinating and relatable.
I was moved and quite eager to share that you've inspired me thoroughly and I am more than happy that I chose to invest time to read about your journey throughout the world and the successes you amassed for social good. It makes me proud and even more confident of this path that I have undertaken to not only experience the world with purpose and passion, but to contribute to solving some of its problems. One day I will know, just like you did at the Philharmonic that 'everything is going to change.'
I feel it coming, I just don't know what it looks like. I do know, however, that the tireless work you are doing comes pretty close and I do know I want to spend the rest of my life making people happy by letting them know that there is so much more to hope for and achieve. We will continue to provide tools for growth; we will continue to encourage and inspire men, women, boys and girls to believe that they are allowed to dream and excel regardless of where and who they are.
Thank you for sharing your triumphs as well as your challenges and most of all, I appreciate the fact that you are inspired by your family. I am too. I am hardly me without them. In fact, when you dedicated your first school to your "Ma" and then eventually told her your story, her response sent tears rolling down my cheeks. Why? I could relate. My grandmother, affectionately called "Mama" was pulled out of school in Grade 3 to contribute to her household. Throughout the years she would describe quite emotionally, the effects of being denied access to educational opportunities. However, we would always remind her of the results of her dedication to hard work. She accumulated multiple successes in spite of not receiving formal education and her greatest achievement in my opinion, is the solid foundation she laid for all of the generations that followed. Nonetheless, I know it hurts her and therefore, if I were to erect a school some day, I believe she would be honoured if it were dedicated to her.
Thanks Adam. My experience with the book in such a short space of time can be easily considered.... life altering..
Continue to inspire and be inspired..
With every good wish.
Love from Jamaica,