Pencils With A Purpose

Our mission is to provide all students with school supplies, while repurposing old school supplies that would otherwise end up in a landfill

Photo of Krith Gopal

Written by

Additional categories (optional)

  • Education

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

11/07/03

Help us stay in touch!

4253057576 10849 Muirwood way NE Redmond WA 98053

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

https://pencilswithapurpose.wixsite.com/mysite

Date You Started Your Project Started

August 2019

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

All students are given a promise for a good education. But not all students are given the proper tools to excel in school. School is a place to build a foundation for the rest of our lives. It’s what helps us live, get jobs, and earn money. While for some kids it’s dangerous to go to school, due to poor infrastructure, others are financially unstable to give their children the tools to do well in school.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our mission is to bridge this gap and provide every student with school supplies, while repurposing old school supplies that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Together, we are committed to making sure no student is left behind, and building a better Earth. Pencils With A Purpose is an organization that acquires school supplies from donations. We accept both cash and supply donations, no matter the size or amount. We are planning to set up donation boxes at grocery stores and office supply chains where we will accept both new and used school supplies as long as they are in good condition to be given to a student in need. We are planning to partner with local donation centers, schools, and office supply chains to make sure that no student is left without school supplies for the coming school year.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

On Maya's recent trip to Jordan, she saw many stands where local Jordanian families were selling souvenirs, and among those families were young children. She still remembers the faces of those kids who needed money from the tourists passing by to have something to eat that night. Forget school, these kids needed ample food for the night and a good shelter. The image of those small kids resonated with her and she thought to herself, that they need to be in school, learning, playing with other children, and having a decent childhood. After she told me about this experience, we wanted to create a local program that gives students the proper supplies they need to go to school and have a good education. The major problem we want to tackle in the future is providing students around the world with the opportunity to go to school, like the children in Jordan.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

There are a few ways to get involved with our project. The first option is to be a donor. Money donations through our website are acceptable. Coming to our fundraisers or donating to our donation boxes at grocery stores is another way to participate. The second option is through volunteering. We’re always looking for new volunteers to help us set up fundraisers or assist in any logistical planning (collecting inventory, marketing to local businesses, giving the supplies to families).

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

One current program similar to ours is called Pencils of Promise. The main difference between our program and Pencils of Promise is that we are more focused on providing students the resources and supplies they need to go to school. We will talk with minority families about what resources will be beneficial for their child’s education and we will partner with office supply chains so donors can get involved with our project.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We plan to increase the numbers of families whose children can get sent to school with our community outreach fundraisers. Hopefully we will get a chance to connect with these families and talk about what resources would be beneficial to supplement their child’s education. So far, we have created a website, set up an email for future business inquiries, and have started planning our first fundraiser. Our email is pencilswithapurpose@outlook.com. We are still at a preliminary stage in this project, and hopefully we can spread the word about our organization and what we do through talking with local community centers, stores, and people. We are in the process of designing posters for community outreach and to get the public aware of what we are doing.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

In the many weeks we’ve spent putting this together, we’ve come up with several ideas for how to improve our project and make it more meaningful to the communities who could benefit from it. We would partner with office supply chains like Office Depot, Staples, Office Max etc. They would sponsor our organization and help spread the word about what we’re doing and why it’s meaningful, and during the back to school season they could open up donation boxes where people can donate either money or supplies on their way out. When this organization gets big enough, the companies themselves may pledge money towards our cause. We could also set up a model similar to Box Tops, except have the money go towards our cause.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Marketing Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Family support

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

106 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
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Photo of Narayan
Team

Very well done.

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Photo of Gohan Jamori
Team

good luck. great idea to help out kids.

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Photo of Shalini
Team

excellent!

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Photo of Shelly
Team

Good Luck to both of you.

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Photo of Guru Narayan
Team

Have you guys thought about working with NGOs who can help with the distribution of the ideas in developing countries?

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Photo of Sarah
Team

Well done and wish you the best.

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Photo of Susan Madison
Team

I really like the idea. I will try to promote it in my community. Good Luck.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks

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Photo of Jasmine M. Suzzalo
Team

Your story is quite inspiring. I have been to Jordan as well and can relate to what you are saying. Good Luck w/ the project.

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Photo of Maya
Team

So glad you were able to experience Jordan. Amazing place.

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Photo of Javier
Team

Very useful to needy kids and communities.

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Photo of Maya
Team

That's what we are shooting for. thanks.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks Javier

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Photo of Sam Sinha
Team

Please let us know how to contribute.

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Photo of Maya
Team

We will be in touch. Thank you for your interest.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks Sam. We will be in touch.

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Photo of chet
Team

Well done. Keep it up.

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Photo of Maya
Team

thanks chet

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Photo of Natalia
Team

I really like how simple the idea is but has big implications.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you.

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Photo of Jessica
Team

Excited for you guys. Good Luck.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks Jessica

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Photo of MFF
Team

Awesome! good luck.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thnx

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Photo of Mays Nazar
Team

Excellent work. Look forward to contributing to this worthy project.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks Mays

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Photo of Mariah Garrett
Team

Good Luck. You guys should think about franchising the model to other countries so this good idea can spread far and wide.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Good idea, Mariah.

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Photo of Marlene James
Team

Kudos to you two.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks

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Photo of Marie
Team

I wish I had launched this program when I was in high school. wish you all the success.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Marie, please join us in the project. Thanks.

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Photo of Jim
Team

Great work girls. Proud of you.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks Jim

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Photo of Saumya Soni
Team

This all looks so incredible and inspiring! I already know you guys will make a difference in so many people's lives.
I also love how it will help fix problems both socially with children and environmentally (by creating a sustainability initiative for these supplies).

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thank you so much Saumya!!! We are so grateful for your support and believing in our cause. At Pencils with a Purpose we are all about connecting social and environmental problems to create a better world, and I'm glad you are on this journey with us!

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Photo of Priya Subramanian
Team

Maya and Krith,
I am amazed by your bold ideas and plan for the future of this organization. Your passion for providing an education and resources is inspiring. Keep it up!

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thanks Priya! YOUR words are inspiring!

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Photo of Shafat Khan
Team

This is an awesome idea, with a very feasible solution. Keep up the good work!

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thanks Shafat! That means a lot!

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Photo of Alexandra Slabakis
Team

This is a really good idea. I see so much waste at the end of the school year when students clean out their lockers. Often only a few pages of notebooks have been used yet they are thrown in the garbage : (

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Photo of Maya
Team

Alexandra, I definitely agree with you! At Pencils With A Purpose, we are looking to re-purpose these old school supplies to support a minority child's education so that these important tools aren't going to waste after such a short usage. Thank you!

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Photo of P.A. Subramanian
Team

It's a path-breaking innovation for deprived children to pursue a meaningful education. I wish you all great success in this endeavor!

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thank you so much! We are grateful for your kind words and support!

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Photo of Gopalakrishnan Srinivasa
Team

It is going to be one of your best exercise for improving the grass root level ,fellow ,citizen s ,wishing you great success in this endeavour .I suggest to start a BOOK bank ,to be contributed by outgoing school children , by the way of donating ,good conditioned school books ,the book they read in lower classes,and also contributing good conditioned ,and well washed school uniforms ,school bags,calculators, and scientific calculators ,Laptop and I pad ,in usable conditions


May god help you to get selsected
gk1087@gmail.com

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thank you so much! This is a great vision for the future and we are glad to have your support!

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Photo of Vyshali
Team

Great initiative, hope it gets selected

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Vyshali! That means a lot to us!

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Photo of Nitin
Team

I liked the initiative. It brings together social and environmental purposes together. Minorities, disadvantaged groups need support from the society and every little helps. Partnering with retail chains is a good idea. There are a lot of corporates, who as part of their corporate social responsibility programs, can also contribute. It might be worth approaching some in your area. Welldone and best wishes for the future.

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thank you Nitin! This is a great plan for the future! Approaching corporate insititutions is a great idea and something we will hopefully achieve in the months to come.

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Photo of Ambica Sharma
Team

Wonderful and much needed initiative to further education resources. Well done!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you, Ambica!

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Photo of Ambica Sharma
Team

Wonderful initiative,

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Photo of Adi
Team

Wow, this is a great idea!
I have tons of excess school supplies that can put to good use and a great cause. Thank you both for championing this idea, and help kids in need.

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Photo of ajay rathi
Team

Good initiative

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thank you so much Adi!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Adi for your kind words!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks, Ajay!

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Photo of Chetan
Team

We should this at different companies.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you Chetan for your support with our initiative! We really appreciate it!

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Photo of Luci Johnston
Team

Amazing job! This project will make a great change in the world and it is an inspiring step forward.

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thanks so much Luci! I'm really glad you believe in our cause!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks, Luci!

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Photo of Sarla
Team

Maya, Krith, This is a great project - helps reduce waste and puts some of the unwanted things to good use and help out kids around the globe. Let us know about the fund raisers or drives that you guys are organizing. Best wishes to both of you.

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thanks so much, Sarla! We're so grateful to have your guidance and support!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you for your support and kind words Sarla!

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Photo of Sarah Johnson
Team

Good initiative girls, this is really awesome. Let us know how we can contribute to this initiative.

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thanks Sarah! We will keep you in the loop with our initiative and we are thankful for your interest and support!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Sarah! Your support really means a lot to us!

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Photo of Mahadevan Rajagopalan
Team

Good job. Let us know how we can help you succeed.

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Photo of Krith Gopal
Team

Thank you Mahadevan!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you Mahadevan! We will definitely keep you in the loop about our initiative and fundraiser plans! We are so greatful for your support!

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Photo of Deepak Gupta
Team

Great work. Keep it up!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you, Deepak!

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Photo of Anurag Aggarwal
Team

Great work. Keep it up!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks, Anurag!

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Photo of Rahul Aggarwal
Team

Great initiative Maya. Besides helping needy with supplies, your work will contribute towards sustainability. Keep up the good work and all the best in your endeavour.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Rahul!

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Photo of Prashant Singh
Team

Excellent initiative Maya. Wish you good luck. God bless you.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks, Prashant!

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Photo of Shivam Vajpayee
Team

This is an excellent initiative as education is the best instrument of empowerment of youth.
Children are our future and investing in thier education shall ensure development of postive thought and improvement in the quality of collective wisdom.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Shivam! I am truly inspired, thank you for your positive encouragement.

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Photo of Shalabh Agarwal
Team

Develop an electronic database open source which could be very easy to circulate. Good initiative, seriously reqd in Rural govt schools.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you Shalabh! That is definitely a great idea!

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Photo of Prashant Kumar Singh
Team

Good step forward for a great cause.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks, Prashant!

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Photo of Ashutosh Srivastava
Team

This is a great initiative. I will find out about the feasibility of having a fundraiser at my workplace too. All the best!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Ashutosh! We are delighted to know you are on this journey with us!

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Photo of Chetan
Team

Good idea! I will check as well.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Chetan for believing in our project!

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Photo of Nitin
Team

Great initiative for a noble cause!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks, Nitin!

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Photo of Chetan
Team

Keep up the great work, Maya

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks, Chetan!

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Photo of Prabhu Gopalakrishnan
Team

Great idea! You will make a difference with this project for sure!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Prabhu! That means a lot to us!

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Photo of Rajesh
Team

Amazing work! Keep going!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Rajesh! Will do!

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Photo of Amit Kesarwani
Team

Good cause and great idea.

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thanks, Amit!

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Photo of Chetan
Team

excellent project

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you Chetan!

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Photo of Sanjeev Verma
Team

Noble cause and a great start. Keep it up!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you so much Sanjeev!

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Photo of sangeeta
Team

Its a great initiative that you guys have taken, keep up the good work!

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Photo of Maya
Team

Thank you Sangeeta!