NEW YORK — A fundraising campaign inspired by the popular photo blog Humans of New York has raised more than US$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 US$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.