Dr. Yukari’s Listening Lounge #13-2, Pencils of Promise

[ Dr. Yukari’s Listening Lounge ]

Consultations will be available to discuss your challenges and worries faced in daily life involving family, relationships, anxiety, stress, grief & loss.

The first 2 sessions are free of charge. Contact us at the address below for any questions or to reserve your 60-minute zoom session.

Email: info@honolulumyohoji.org

Guided by the hope of St. Nichiren, we continue to work towards a peaceful society. Honolulu Myohoji Mission collaborates with Psychologist Dr. Yukari Kunisue, a trained and experienced therapeutic life coach, to offer a safe online space: Dr. Yukari’s Listening Lounge



After reading about Adam’s story, I was curious and began to read more about his background. I wondered what his motivations were to build a nonprofit from the ground up. What were his main aspirations for getting to this point?


As it turns out, his grandmother was a survivor of the Holocaust who had also lost her parents and all of her siblings in the horrific gas chambers. Adam was raised on these tragic stories of survival and determination. Adam also survived a near death incident involving a boat entering extreme weather conditions while at sea. 


Adam says at an interview, “I feel like I got a second chance”. With his ancestors’ legacy involving the Holocaust, on top of the near-death life experiences he encountered, he felt that his life needed a sense of purpose. He was not placed on this earth by coincidence or luck. By asking himself, “do I want to live a successful life or a meaningful life?” The answer to this question resulted in the creation of the NPO called “Pencils of Promise (PoP)”. (Pencilsofpromise.org)


Previously, he recalled an incident that occurred from Guatemala during a backpacking trip. On this journey, he met a middle-aged man who spoke minimal English. The man lives in a mountain village and offered him to come and stay inside his house. While the village was miles away, he accepted his offer and traveled hours to their home. The man and his wife welcomed Adam allowing him to stay at their house for three days while he helped the old man record the bible in English. The man was a pastor and teach at the local church and wanted to have a native speaker’s English recorded for his students. At this point, Adam realized that there are still many children who did not have opportunities available to learn. 


Adam began his organization with as little as $25. Over the last 13 years, it grew with more than 2,000 teachers receiving support, 110,000 students impacted, and slowly but surely more donations are continuing to come in from all over the world. His focus has always been for the donation money to go directly to those who need the support. With the help of donors giving monthly or even with one-time donations, Adam was able to dedicate the very first school his organization built to his then 80-year-old grandmother.