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. When Braun asked the boy what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, “A pencil.”
This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise, the organization Braun would leave a prestigious job at Bain & Company to start with just $25 at the age of twenty-four. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, he helped redefine the space in which business, philanthropy, and social media intersect. And a mere five years later, Pencils of Promise has now built more than two hundred schools around the world, proving that anyone can create a movement that matters.
The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun’s journey through more than fifty countries to find his calling, as each chapter explains the steps that every person can take to ignite their own passion and potential. His trailblazing story takes readers behind the scenes with business moguls and village chiefs, world-famous celebrities and hometown heroes. Driven by compelling stories and shareable insights, this is a vivid and inspiring book that will give readers the tools to unlock their own extraordinary journey of self-discovery.
If you have ever wanted a more purpose-driven life, if you have ever felt like you could become more than your current circumstances allow, it’s time to ask yourself, “What do I want most in the world?” And through the lessons shared in this book, turn those ideas into reality.
About the Author
Adam Braun is the Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning nonprofit organization that has built more than 150 schools across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and delivered over 10 million educational hours to children in poverty. PoP was founded with just $25 and has grown under Braun’s stewardship with his unique approach that blends nonprofit idealism with for-profit business principles. In 2012, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.
"For anyone with a big dream to transform the world, this book will show you how to get it done." -- Sir Richard Branson
"A compelling and singular story filled with universal truths everyone needs to hear." -- United States Senator Cory Booker
"A remarkably inspiring story that shares the essential lessons to creating a life of meaning, passion and purpose." -- Deepak Chopra, Founder of The Chopra Foundation
"A vivid, heartfelt account of the power of education and the ability of one person to impact the world." -- Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach For America and Co-Founder & CEO of Teach For All
"Braun takes you on a mesmerizing round-the-world adventure, while sharing the concrete steps necessary to turn your own ideas into reality. He has his finger on the pulse of what's next and when he speaks you should be listening." -- Keith Ferrazzi, #1 NY Times bestselling author of Never Eat Alone and Who's Got Your Back
"A perfect step-by-step guide to building the life you've always wanted on your own terms. . . Start reading and don't put the book down until you're finished." -- Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia and New York Times bestselling author of Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook and Crush It!
"Braun's lessons are memorable, accessible, and powerful. This is a must-read, and a must-re-read, and a must-keep-in-view-on-bookshelf kind of book." -- Jessica Jackley, Co-Founder of Kiva
"[An] exuberant testimony to the power of idealism. . . Braun's story forcefully presents the advantages of silencing the head andlistening to the heart." * Publishers Weekly starred review and Book of the Week *
"[Braun] skillfully weaves together his personal memoir and the professional challenges he faced... Informative and inspiring." * Kirkus Reviews *
"Braun combines his laid-back storytelling style with simple yet sage advice....The Promise of a Pencil is engaging, instructive and inspiring reading for anyone who wants to change his or her life, change the world, or simply feel better about humanity." * Success Magazine *
"Braun shares his story of how he started Pencils of Promise, what he learned from Wall Street that has helped him...how he's leveraged social networks to generate donations, and his best career advice." * Forbes.com *
"[A] page-turning debut." * MTV Act *