Pencils for PromiseAt Hill School community service is part of our culture. Each class participates in at least one community service project of their own during the school year, and the entire school participates in annual projects. In particular as eighth graders are frequently reminded of the counsel of Reverend Dick Peard ”When you find your place in this world, remember to help others find theirs.” As the seniors of the school, the eighth graders are continually asked to look beyond themselves, to help others, and to stand up for what is right.

Annie, an eighth grader at Hill, has shown initiative and leadership in the area of community service by spearheading efforts to raise money for a charity called “Pencils of Promise.” The monies raised through Pencils of Promise go to educate children in four developing countries: Laos, Guatemala, Ghana, and Nicaragua.  For each $25 raised, a child is educated for one year. With Annie’s leadership, the Hill Community will be helping 50 children attend school for one year!

Annie is incredibly grateful and proud of the support that the school family has shown for this cause.

We sat down with Annie to learn more about her involvement with Pencils for Promise:

What gave you the idea to do this?

Originally, it was because my idol Justin Bieber supported this cause. His manager Scooter Braun’s brother, Adam Braun, created Pencils of Promise.

Was it hard to raise funds? Yes, it was hard to communicate the message because other people raising funds relied on social networking which I do not have access to. I had to get approval by speaking with Mr. Lord and then organize my effort.

Has it evolved?

Now, it is not about Justin Bieber. I have learned about Pencils of Promise which is a good organization that is helping other countries. I am proud our school has been part of the cause. Together we have raised $1,250 in donations and a raffle.

What have you learned from this experience?

I’ve learned that you need to speak to people and be direct and forward. It takes planning and follow-through, and I can do this. It’s helped other students see what you can do when you believe in a cause.

Would you lead an effort like this again here or at another school? – I would lead an effort again for a cause I believed in.

Thank you to everyone who supported Annie in this community service project.