NEW YORK, N.Y. – A fundraising campaign inspired by the popular photo blog Humans of New York has raised more than $1 million to send middle-school students from a high-poverty Brooklyn school on field trips to Harvard.
Thirteen-year-old Vidal Chastanet told blogger Brandon Stanton in a Jan. 20 post that his principal, Nadia Lopez, was the person who had influenced him the most.
“When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us,” Vidal said. “She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.”
Stanton went to meet Lopez at Mott Hall Bridges Academy and found she was busy raising money to send her sixth-graders to visit Harvard.
Stanton spearheaded a crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo.com that had raised $1,064,189 for Mott Hall students as of Thursday afternoon.
The money will send Mott Hall sixth-graders on trips to Harvard for the next 10 years.
Lopez told students at a schoolwide assembly Monday that they are inspiring the entire world.
“People have written me letters from New Zealand, England, and South Africa, telling me that they care about you,” Lopez said, according to the Humans of New York site.
Money raised will also pay for summer programs at Mott Hall and scholarships for graduates of the school.