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Published on October 19th, 2017 | by Jerry Doby


Grammy-Nominated Singer Jhene Aiko Launches Weeklong #Pennyspen Campaign


Aiko’s Campaign Creates a Call to Action for Youth to Express Themselves in Partnership with Get Schooled

Three-time Grammy®-nominated multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko announces the launch of #PennysPen, a week-long campaign she created urging young people to express themselves through writing. Aiko is partnering with educational non-profit organization Get Schooled to help promote the importance of writing and creativity. Named after her alter ego “Penny,” the #PennysPen campaign kicks off today, in time for National Day on Writing this Friday, October 20th, and lasts throughout the work and school week, culminating next Friday, October 27th.

The #PennysPen Campaign begins on the heels of Aiko’s #1 album TRIP, which was inspired by her own journal entries, and serves as an exciting way to connect her with fans and encourage them to join her in the writing process. Aiko is a lifelong writer and wanted to create a platform for students and young people to express themselves through writing the way she has for so many years. Aiko ideated the campaign after releasing TRIP, her most personal project to date. The name #PennysPen comes from Aiko’s alter ego “Penny,” which she has used since birth to express her younger and purist self.

“Writing poetry has always been a form of therapy for me and has helped me get through difficult situations,” Aiko said. “When no one else understands, our journals can understand.”

Get Schooled is proud to partner with Aiko to help spread her message and amplify the #PennysPen Campaign. “Jhene has a powerful vision to inspire young people to understand the power of their pen.  She understands that when young people can use their writing to express who they are and what they have experienced,  they can become better advocates for themselves and their communities, “said Marie Groark, Executive Director of Get Schooled.  “Get Schooled is excited to partner with Jhene in the fulfillment of this vision.”

The campaign kicks off today. Jhene encourages young people ages 13-21 to share their written work by posting it on Instagram or submitting their work through Top entries will be eligible for a #PennysPen writing kit. Young people can also learn more about effective writing by completing the ‘Power of the Pen’ badge on Everyone who completes the badge will earn a Jhene inspired sticker. The initiative expects to engage more than 10,000 young people over a weeklong period. The campaign will end on Friday, October 27th, which is The National Day of Writing. Each year on The National Day of Writing, The National Council of Teachers of English celebrates the importance, joy, and evolution of writing through a tweetup, using the hashtag #WhyIWrite, with events hosted by thousands of educators across the country.

About Jhene Aiko

Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko was already more than a decade deep in the music game when she reached Def Jam in 2011; having been featured on singles, albums and mixtapes by A-listers from Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Big Sean, Logic, J. Cole, Drake, and many more. Jhené made history when Sail Out, her phenomenal #1 debut EP of 2013, became the biggest-selling EP in Def Jam history. The EP’s success was propelled by her sizzling BET Award-winning and Grammy®-nominated #1 platinum crossover hit “The Worst” (over 108 million combined YouTube views to date). She joined Drake on his 39-city North American Would You Like A Tour? in 2015 and appeared with him on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, which led to her own solo dates on TBS’s Conan, CBS’s The Late Show with David Letterman, and NBC Universal’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Jhené’s brilliant solo album of 2014, Souled Out entered the Soundscan R&B chart at #1, containing “The Pressure,” described by Billboard as “an otherworldly neck-snapper” (over 11 million combined YouTube views to date). Jhene’s latest album TRIP took the No. 5 Billboard spot in its first week. She kicks off her first North American headlining tour November 14th.

About Get Schooled

The Get Schooled Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to using the power of media, technology, and popular culture to motivate and inspire young people, whilst giving them the tools they need for higher education and success. Get Schooled was founded in 2010 through a partnership with Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a mission to assist young people from the average in all educational assets from FAFSA and scholarship reach to SAT prep and college applications. Since then, Get Schooled has built a community of almost 1 million members representing 11,000 middle schools, high schools, and colleges across all 50 states. In 2016, Get Schooled partnered with renowned producer and DJ, DJ Khaled for the Major Keys, Social Good campaign earning over 10,000 keys. More than $1 million in scholarships and grants have been earned by schools and students of Latino, African American, White and low-income backgrounds. Explore. Be Inspired. Get Schooled.



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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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