Steven Way, senior in industrial engineering, combined his passions for soccer and giving back to others to create a new student organization at Iowa State.
The organization, Pencils of Promise (PoP) at Iowa State University, is a service organization that is part of an international mission to build sustainable schooling programs in four countries around the world: Ghana, Nicaragua, Laos, and Guatemala.
One of those countries is especially important to Way, who is also the club’s first president.
“Pencils of Promise at ISU began with a desire to contribute to Iowa State University in a meaningful and lasting way but specially to help the people from Guatemala, which is the country I have lived in for most of my life,” Way said.
Way is also a big fan of soccer and he hopes to create fundraisers by playing the sport on Iowa State’s campus.
PoP at ISU is already planning a variety of events to help spread awareness and raise funds, including a soccer tournament. Kabongwe Gwebu, PoP at ISU’s advisor and a native of Zimbabwe, is excited to see the club grow.
“I would encourage everyone, if they know anyone who enjoys soccer in any capacity, to be encouraged to participate and to look for different messages coming from the organization,” Gwebu said. “Seeing work done in developing nations is always a good thing.”
“Our goal for next year is to fund-raise $2,500 which will be to support a whole classroom of children so they can have access to education for a year,” Way said. “We encourage students to join the movement of Pencils of Promise because we believe that only working together we can make a difference in the world.”
Way said that the national organization Pencils of Promise has built more than 206 schools, impacting more than 20,000 children around the world. The organization also trains teachers, gives out student scholarships, and implements water and health programs.
Way credits many people for their assistance in making the organization a reality. He wished to specially thank Leslie Potter, senior lecturer in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, who supported him from the beginning.
Students can request to join by visiting Iowa State Pencils of Promise at ISU’s student organization page. To learn more about the national organization, or to make a donation in support of the PoP at ISU’s fundraising goals visit http://fundraise.pencilsofpromise.org/fundraise/team?ftid=30440.