Monday, August 25, 2014

Spotlight on Support: Kent Place School Fundraiser Raises $3,500 for a Little Rock Scholarship

Students of Kent Place School with John and Judy

We feel really privileged to have so many wonderful supporters working with us to end poverty. It’s encouraging to know that while many people live in deep distress, there are also selfless women and men out there, committed to this cause on behalf of Africa’s poorest regions. And it's especially exciting when our youth--especially our young girls--put their passions to work and lead that charge.

Kent Place School, an all-girls school in Summit, New Jersey, emphasizes responsible living and charity and encourages those qualities in its students. So it's no surprise that Sophie Huttner, a Kent Place 8th grader, became passionate about empowering women through education and spoke about it during her recent Bat Mitzvah speech. John and Judy, the founders of Eliminate Poverty NOW, are members of the same congregation as Sophie and were introduced to her shortly after that speech. They had a conversation about the partners that EPN works with, including Little Rock. The Little Rock Inclusive Early Childhood Development Centre was founded to serve children from Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum. Sophie became so inspired by EPN’s work with Little Rock that she was moved to action.  She told her classmates and teachers about Little Rock and shared with them how she would love her school to help. And the Kent Place community responded in a way that neither we nor the students at Little Rock will ever forget!

Through a three-part campaign, Kent Place Middle School came together and raised a total of $3,500. And because Eliminate Poverty NOW matches donations raised by elementary, middle, or high school students dollar-for-dollar, Kent Place is responsible for raising $7,000--enough to finance two 4-year scholarships to secondary boarding schools! Every donation counts, but two entire scholarships from this single source is absolutely fantastic.
Whether they are neighbors, students, or children, our young people can play a big role in eliminating poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Projects like these, led by schools like Kent Place and students like Sophie, can change lives forever. Thanks to a group of caring and motivated  middle schoolers in Summit, New Jersey, two talented girls half way around the world in Kenya’s largest slum will receive the education they only dreamed of. Youth helping youth globally! We encourage all of you, our readers, to challenge your kids, and your kids’ schools to launch similar campaigns. No effort goes unappreciated, and no dollar amount is meaningless. Everything you do really matters.

And don’t forget to let us know what you are doing to support EPN. Not only will we match school campaigns dollar for dollar, but we will talk about your contribution right here in our blog! Together we can end poverty, and as Sophie and the Kent Place School proved so convincingly, it is NEVER too young to start!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Signing In

Hello EPN blog readers! I am Jonathan, and Dexter is my accomplice; we are the new “Social Media Ninjas” for Eliminate Poverty NOW. We want to take a moment to introduce ourselves and give you a bit of our backgrounds. We also want to let you know about some upcoming ideas we have cooking for EPN...but before all of that, we want to graciously shout out to Anna, who came before us, and paved the road for this blog with her dedicated content. As Dexter and I start working with EPN, we want to acknowledge how great her work was,  and say it is an honor to carry on the mantle.

As far as our backgrounds, both Dexter and I are originally from the great town of Huntsville, Alabama. We’ve been close friends since high school, and more recently started a company called Modern Scope, LLC. together (more on that shortly). Dexter did his undergraduate work at the University of Alabama, studying Religious Studies and History. He now works extensively with churches, charitable organization and small businesses throughout the south, helping them to better market themselves, with emphasis given to web and social media tactics. In his downtime, he really enjoys traveling, basketball and reading books about different religions. He’ll begin pursuing a Masters in Divinity in the next year.

I have a bachelors degree in Anthropology from Princeton University, and a Masters in Business Management from Wake Forest University. By day, I work as a consultant, but by the rest of the time, I’d like to consider myself a jack of all trades. I split time between traveling across the country on weekends, learning the trumpet, studying religion and history, writing musically and creatively, and exploring the depths of my faith.

I discovered Eliminate Poverty NOW through my daytime job as a consultant. I work with a firm called Philosophy IB. The founding partners are good friends of John and Judy’s. After hearing about John and Judy’s mission, I immediately wanted to help (as we hope everyone would!). It just happened that they needed some of the very services that Modern Scope provides, and so I got Dexter onboard and we all quickly started working together.

We have a few upcoming projects we want to shine a light on before ending this post, and it starts with the website. We are very excited to announce that we are rolling out a fresh new website for EPN in the coming days. Modern Scope is a PR company, with a focus on building social media platforms for organizations with an eye on the common good-exactly like EPN. But we also build websites, and we are coming down the homestretch with a major redesign for EPN. So be on the lookout for the relaunch announcement in the next month or two.

Secondly, as you can see, the blog is undergoing a few changes. As we take over the responsibilities, we will also be building out the blogging pages, adding some new themes (including FEATURE FRIDAYS), and trying to get you all connected.

Finally, we are looking to really get people excited about the social media pages; so share posts! Feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts, and reach out! We have been very happy to jump into supporting EPN, and want to jump into meeting all the organization’s supporters. We look forward to hearing from you!