Description & History

In 1995, PENCIL launched Principal for a Day®, an annual event designed to raise awareness about public education by having civic and business leaders serve as visiting principals in New York City schools. Twenty years later, PENCIL is the leader in creating innovative and impactful models of collaboration between the business and education communities. PENCIL works at the intersection of school needs and business expertise to bring together the best ideas, talent, and resources across sectors to improve public school and student performance and enhance workforce pathways.

PENCIL provides volunteer opportunities for individuals within the business community - at any level - through our three main programs:

The PENCIL School Partnership Program

PENCIL School Partnerships are created between teams of business volunteers and NYC public schools. Volunteers share their talents directly with students, offering students the opportunity to develop skills necessary for post-secondary achievement.

The PENCIL Internship Program 

PENCIL serves over 500 public school students (ages 16-22) annually through a competitive career readiness training program that culminates in a paid six week summer internship at a company in New York City. Volunteers are a critical component of this program, serving as mentors, supervisors, and instructors. 

PENCIL Points of Engagement 

Short term. Student centered. Maximum impact. Providing tailored, single day volunteer events that directly impact NYC public schools. Company volunteers facilitate interactive College and Career readiness sessions for students at a participating school or company offices. 


About the organization


Mariel Zelhart
Senior Manager of Corporate & Foundation Relations
Organization’s website: