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Generosity, penny by penny, builds new schools

Gillian Seaman

Issue date: 8/28/09 Section: News
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In most countries, a penny is virtually worthless. In the United States, there have even been discussions about abolishing the coin entirely. But for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a few pennies can mean the difference between literacy and success or ignorance and destitution. With this in mind, junior Audra Horomanski has decided to bring Pennies for Peace to the Case Western Reserve University campus.

Dave Mortenson founded Pennies for Peace in 1994. Mortenson, the author of 2009's common reading, Three Cups of Tea, was an adventurer who attempted to climb K2. He failed to reach the summit but was rescued by the people in a small Pakistani village. There, he soon discovered that the students lacked a teacher and basic school supplies. Upon leaving, Mortenson promised that he would return and build the students a school. Despite contacting over 580 celebrities, he only received a donation of $100. Desperate, Mortenson opted to sell all his belongings.

Fortunately, a group of elementary school students heard of his story and donated $623.00 in pennies. The children's actions inspired other adults and organizations to become involved with the program. Since then, Mortenson has established dozens of schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Incredibly inspired by Mortenson's story, Horomanski decided to bring the program to the CWRU campus. "As an academic institution, we understand the importance of education and should support all who strive to academics throughout the world," she said.

Many on CWRU's campus have been motivated by Mortenson's story. Junior Jacklynn Sanford stated that one of her friends changed majors and joined Ameri Corps after reading the book. "I really think that we may see similar reactions from students on our own campus," she said. Senior participant Kelli Herrick stated that she believed "pennies for Peace will give CWRU students something to rally around."

"It is obvious that education is important to each and every one of us," Herrick added, "and having the opportunity to extend the gift of learning to other less fortunate areas of the world is wonderful."
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In This Issue


  • A conversation with Major Jason Winterle
  • Budgeting 101 for college students
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case holds first annual Campus Security Fair
  • Case Western prepares to serve community
  • Have you heard about ACM?
  • Nursing "freshmen stimulus" provides support for incoming students, provokes unease
  • USG Briefs


  • Club sports & news
  • Fantasy Football
  • Gameday
  • Volleyball goes 3-1 at Wooster
  • Women's soccer takes two at JCU

Fun Page

  • Crossword Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • "You lie:" an old-fashioned outburst
  • Buenos Aires: most romantic city?
  • Editorial: Student groups deserve credit for programming
  • Learning to be responsible
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Letters to the Editor
  • State your case photos: What would you do with an Inamori Ethics Prize?


  • All's Well in CWRU MFA/Cleveland Playhouse production of overlooked Shakespeare classic
  • Dittrick Medical History Center reopens exhibit on history of contraception
  • Fashion for the frugal: look stylish on a budget
  • Hitting the Spot: The Antlers
  • Making breakfast work for you: getting a grip on granola
  • Nintendo DS game mixes strategy and traditional RPG elements for unique, timesaving gameplay
  • The Buzz
  • The Worst Case Scenario
  • Trail of Dead coming to Cleveland


  • Whalen becomes all-time passing leader in win over Rochester

Sex and Dating

  • Executing the first date


  • Stopped at nothing: Spartans shut out No. 21 Ohio Northern

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Andrea Wojtowicz
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