By Jack Barnes
Pencils of Promise today announced Grammy Award-winning artist and long-time supporter Lil Jon has opened his second school with the organization, the Mafi Atitekpo DA Primary School, located in the village of Mafi Atitekpo in Ghana. Pencils of Promise, a 501(c)(3) organization aimed at providing educational tools for children around the world. The new school, which broke ground in December 2017 and was officially inaugurated in July 2018, has been operating since with 313 children enrolled.
Currently, Pencils of Promise is impacting over 35,000 students in Ghana. Mafi Atitekpo DA Primary School is the second school built in the village of Mafi Atitekpo through the charity. The first school, Abomayaw D.A. Kindergarten, opened its doors in October 2017 and was also funded with the help of Lil Jon. It was built in honor of his late mother, Carrie M. Smith, and has an enrollment of 244 students. The rapper donated a total of $70,000 to the organization, helping to get the two schools off the ground.
“Lil Jon is one of our most loyal and passionate celebrity supporters, from his work in the field to donating his birthday to make two schools a reality, he continues to impact education needs for those in rural communities,” said Pencils of Promise CEO Tanya Ramos. “We are thrilled to open the Mafi Atitekpo DA school with Lil Jon and can’t wait to see his impact in action.”
“Last year [October of 2017] I went with my family to open up my first Pencils of Promise school in Ghana, and now to have over 300 kids already enrolled in my second school there is incredible! It’s been really fulfilling to see the impact these schools have made on so many of these children’s and families’ futures,” said Lil Jon.
Prior to the combined efforts of Pencils of Promise and Lil Jon, who has donated a total of $70,000 to the organization to help get both schools off the ground, students in Mafi Atitekpo were learning in a cement structure with block windows. The large number of students led to overcrowding, with some students forced to learn under a tree outside of the school. These conditions posed not only a hazard to student safety and wellbeing, but to student engagement and learning capabilities. Witnessing these learning conditions first hand during his first trip to Ghana in October 2017 is what inspired Lil Jon to do more to help.
For more information on Pencils of Promise and details on how to get involved, please visit www.pencilsofpromise.org
About Pencils of Promise:
Pencils of Promise (“PoP”) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to increase access to quality education for children in the developing world. PoP works with communities across the globe to build schools and create programs that provide education opportunities for children, no matter where they were born, or what resources they have. PoP has built over 485 schools and currently supports over 95,000 students throughout Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Ghana, and has established itself as a leader amongst the innovative global nonprofits working toward sustainable social change. For more information, please visit www.pencilsofpromise.org
About Lil Jon:
For the last decade plus, the words “YEAH,” “OK,” and “WHAT” have been synonymous with multi-platinum, Grammy award winning artist Lil Jon. He has been one of the most prominent figures in music and pop culture alike, performing for hundreds of thousands of fans with Usher & Ludacris, Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Pitbull, TLC (on FOX’s American Idol), Yandel, LMFAO and Sydney Samson just to name a few. In 2014, Lil Jon proved once again he’s a powerhouse artist teaming up with DJ Snake for their smash hit “Turn Down For What,” which created a massive worldwide craze. His consistent hit making has earned him legions of fans, which is evident as Lil Jon has won BMI’s Songwriter of the Year award as well as scored eight Billboard Awards (for the two hit Usher tracks “Yeah!” and “Lovers and Friends”), a Grammy, a Radio Music Award, a BET award, two MTV Video Music Awards, and an American Music Award
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