Pilot Corporation of America (Pilot Pen), together with writer, producer and overachiever, Shonda Rhimes, is thrilled to announce that Dr. Rebecca Constantino is the inaugural G2 Overachievers Grant winner.
Dr. Constantino truly is an overachiever; she is a graduate professor in language acquisition at the University of California, the mother of three children, and the founder of the non-profit organization Access Books. Access Books has enhanced the literacy and lives of numerous at risk children in the greater Los Angeles area by distributing over 2 million books and renovating and refurbishing nearly 300 underserved inner city public school libraries.
The search for Pilot Pen’s Overachiever began in July of 2016, when Pilot Pen and Shonda Rhimes invited individuals to nominate someone who goes above and beyond their everyday nine-to-five duties to improve the lives of those around them. Thousands of inspiring, handwritten entries were submitted during the four-month nomination period. After closely reviewing the entries, Pilot Pen and Shonda Rhimes selected the Grand Prize winner.
Dr. Constantino was nominated by a friend who eloquently wrote about her passionate belief that “it is a civil right to have access to a good library.” She founded Access Books after discovering the shocking fact that there is no funding for school libraries in Los Angeles or in the state of California. With at least 90 percent of students living at or below the poverty line in the greater Los Angeles area, this was a major problem, given that “the best predictor of how well you read is the number of books to which you have access” in your school library.
Since the program’s inception in 1999, Access Books has helped countless pre-kindergarten through middle school-aged students develop their literacy skills and discover a love for reading and writing. Her nomination entry states, “She is a tireless (and uncompensated) worker who overcomes all obstacles to ensure that there is no discrimination in literacy… All children should have access to great books and a great library. Poverty should not be a factor in learning and becoming a reader.” As a result of her work, the Access Books founder was awarded the $50,000 G2 Overachievers Grant.
“At Pilot we believe that Overachievers can change the world,” said Ariann Langsam, director of marketing for Pilot Pen. “What Rebecca created with Access Books – utilizing the power of the written word to improve the current lives and future prospects of children in underserved areas – is truly an amazing example of overachievement. We are thrilled to present Rebecca with the $50,000 G2 Overachievers Grant, and a five year supply of G2 pens, to help continue her incredible work.”
As Pilot continues to encourage and recognize outstanding acts of overachievement, the brand is partnering with Shonda Rhimes once again to award the 2017 G2 Overachievers Grant and, new this year, the G2 Overachievers Student Grant. The $50,000 G2 Overachievers Grant will be awarded to one exceptional individual who goes beyond the call of their everyday career to give back to their community in unique and impactful ways. Entrants will need to submit 1,000 to 1,500 handwritten words expressing how they or someone they know is overachieving for a good cause.
Submissions for the G2 Overachievers Grant will be accepted until Nov. 15, 2017.
Expanding their existing grant, Pilot and Shonda are also introducing the student-specific G2 Overachievers Student Grant to celebrate exceptional young scholars (aged 13 to 19, in middle school or high school) who are making a tremendous difference in others’ lives outside the classroom. One student grant winner will earn $12,500 to further their education and continue their good works, and their school will be awarded $2,500 to continue fostering student overachievement for years to come. Entrants are required to submit 1,000 to 1,500 handwritten words expressing how they or a student they know are working outside the classroom to benefit their communities and peers. Submissions for the G2 Overachievers Student Grant will be accepted until Dec. 31, 2017.
In order to achieve their goals, both big and small, overachievers like Rebecca select the best tools to help them make their mark. The Pilot G2 is America’s longest lasting, smooth writing, #1 selling gel ink pen, and is the ideal pen for the everyday overachiever – whether they are designing a library or penning a business plan. Pilot’s G2 is available in four point sizes and 14 colors, offering unlimited opportunities for customization and expression.
To learn more about Dr. Rebecca Constantino, Access Books and how you can contribute to the cause, please visit www.accessbooks.net. For more information on the G2 Overachievers Grant and to enter yourself, or an overachiever in your life, for the 2017 G2 Overachievers Grant and Student Grant visit www.G2Overachievers.com.