Endeavor CMO Bozoma Saint John has joined the nonprofit Pencils of Promise as the organization’s new Ghana ambassador—and it may be the perfect pairing of marketing and purpose.
Founded in 2008 by Adam Braun (brother of Scooter Braun), Pencils of Promise has built more than 500 schools in Ghana, Guatemala, and Laos to serve underprivileged children. While Saint John was born in the U.S. to Ghanaian parents, she spent years of her childhood in that country before moving back to the States at age 12. “It’s a perfect example of when life and profession converge,” says Saint John. “I feel very much bicultural in that I speak the language, eat the food at home, and I visit very often.”
It’s a new position at the organization, and Saint John says she’s going to be taking some time to figure out just how she can help as much as possible. While the organization is known for building schools, she wants to focus on what she calls “beyond the build”—how Pencils of Promise works with the communities after the schools are built. “I hope my understanding of the culture and Ghanaian people will help add more understanding and make it more personal,” she says.
Given her professional experience as a marketing exec at such brands as Beats by Dre, Apple Music, and Uber and her work with clients at Endeavor, Saint John also sees an opportunity to help attract new partners, as brands and companies increasingly require social good to be part of their brand ethos and strategy.
“Utilizing what I know from a marketing standpoint, understanding data analytics, understanding the ways people are incentivized to be a part of a movement, is something I feel uniquely qualified to help with, particularly at this phase of Pencils of Promise’s evolution,” she says. “I want to take what I see as the changing face of marketing and apply it to the business of Pencils of Promise, to help it have a deeper connection with audiences who are searching for meaning. It’s a really great time to get involved.”