Saint Louis, MO | 17
2016 Award Recipient
Jessica Goldberg was surprised to learn, while volunteering as a teaching assistant for severely underprivileged students at St. Louis Aim High, that the students she was trying to tutor did not have even the basic tools to succeed and excel in school. In August 2013, Jessica co-founded Performing for Pencils, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged school students with the basic school supplies they need to be successful learners. As an actor and dancer, Jessica was inspired to combine her love for the arts and education to gather fellow performers from across the St. Louis area to host an annual high school community talent show. Through Jessica’s efforts, Performing for Pencils provided critical financial support to struggling schools, as well as having raised important awareness of social justice issues, and building bridges across racial and socioeconomic divisions in a city torn apart by violence and distrust. Performing for Pencils is currently expanding to the Chicago area and has raised $35,000 since 2014. Jessica ultimately hopes to position Performing for Pencils as the catalyst for changing the lives of kids who are in need of a helping hand.
Performing for Pencils is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged school students with the basic school supplies they need to be successful learners through an annual high school community talent show hosted by performers from across the St. Louis area.