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Pencils of Promise teams up with Wiz Khalifa for ’16 Gala

The rapper’s views on education line up with PoP’s mission

Grammy-nominated rap artist Wiz Khalifa donates backpacks to Pittsburgh students and recently joined with Eminem to donate bottle water to residents of Flint, Michigan. He has extended his benevolent endeavors to many other organizations. Now he’s teaming up with Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit agency that focuses on global education, to headline its 2016 PoP Gala on Oct. 26 in New York City.

“Kids should be able to chase their dream. Pencils of Promise is allowing them to do that,” Khalifa said in a news release.

According to Billboard, Khalifa will close the event with a special performance in support of the millions of children around the globe who don’t have access to a good education. Pencils of Promise believes everyone deserves access to quality education.

The gala marks the sixth year the organization’s event has raised funds for children in other countries. It’s set for an awards ceremony that will highlight the partnership with footwear brand Stuart Weitzman, which has supported Pencils of Promise with its Shoes for Schools campaign, through which it funded the construction of three schools: one each in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos.

“There are 250 million kids around the world who can’t read and write. The evening will portray a living world and an environmental utopia in which all children have access to an education,” honorary event chair Grace Raymond said.

Pencils of Promise was founded after a gift of a pencil was given to a kid and founder Adam Braun saw the look on his face. He started with just $25. “Over the next five years, I backpacked through more than 50 countries, handing out thousands of pens and pencils across six continents,” Braun said on the company’s website. “These pencils, these small pieces of potential, led to powerful conversations with local parents and children across countless cultures and languages. From years of listening to their words, it became clear that there was a need for an international nonprofit that was led on the ground by a staff of locals from within each country, required village participation in each school, and deeply supported, trained and tracked each student to ensure their success.”

To date, the organization has built more than 300 schools. It is committed to supporting a world with greater educational opportunity for all. Thousands have joined the organization, making contributions through acts both large and small.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.