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March 2017 Winner

Write the Future, Don't Erase It

Zoe Engels
Northbrook · Illinois
What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?

In 2014, Zoe Engels, who was then a freshman in high school, observed a presentation that included photos of Guatemalan children — young boys and girls — begging on the street for pencils. Appalled, Zoe was determined to bring writing utensils to children internationally so that they too could write their futures and pursue an education. Joining forces with her business-savvy best friend, Elana Greenberg, who was then a sophomore, Write the Future was formed.

Write the Future is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to donating pencils to underprivileged children internationally. To date, the organization has donated tens of thousands of pencils to children in Honduras, Haiti, Cuba, and the Southside of Chicago.

How will you use the $10k?

Write the Future is growing! Working alongside Innovation: Africa, Write the Future intends to send a plethora of pencils to villages throughout Uganda, Malawi, and Tanzania. Write the Future also intends to donate pencils to villages in Ghana. In order to donate these pencils and to help tens of thousands of children receive the gift of the written word, we need your help. Please vote for Write the Future. The $10,000 will go toward the cost of the pencils and shipping costs, ensuring that no child goes without the necessary tools for an education. The $10,000 will therefore change the lives of tens of thousands of children in need. Please help us as we work alongside the children to write their futures.

What impact do you hope to make?

Write the Future hopes to impact as many children as possible. With donations going to villages throughout Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania, Write the Future has the opportunity to impact hundreds of thousands of children. Children will receive pencils, hand-held pencil sharpeners and other tools to allow them to explore the gift of writing.

For the children receiving these donations, as was expressed in a letter from a Honduran student at a school to which Write the Future donated, the pencils are not merely educational tools. They are a gift of hope for these children; they give children hope that individuals abroad want to help them succeed. Do not be deceived by the simplicity of a pencil, for pencils can make a large difference.

Other Details
Write the Future, Don't Erase It
Write the Future, Don't Erase It
Write the Future, Don't Erase It
Write the Future, Don't Erase It

The adventure begins immediately! With this grant, Write the Future can instantly begin purchasing the pencils in bulk and at discounted prices so as to maximize the number of pencils that can be donated. Then, Write the Future can work with its partner organizations and shipping companies to determine ways to best send and distribute these pencils to the children throughout the villages in Africa. The goal is to get these writing utensils to the children as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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