Headshot Photo of Jessica Goldberg
2016 Award Recipient


Project Performing for Pencils

Location St. Louis, MO

Issue Area Education | Poverty

Jessica was surprised to learn, while volunteering as a teaching assistant for severely under-resourced 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, raised crucial awareness of social justice issues, and built bridges across racial and socioeconomic divisions.

Every time I see pictures of students receiving our supplies, I am reminded that even an ordinary high school student like me can effectuate change.

Jessica Goldberg
“It is never too late, too early, or too often TO GIVE BACK AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE”
Helen Diller