HONY Fundraises for School Trips to Harvard
Thanks to fundraising efforts by photojournalism blog Humans of New York (HONY), the class of one Brooklyn middle school is set to tour Harvard– and for years to come. Along with HONY creator Brandon Stanton, educators from Mott Bridges Hall Academy in Brooklyn raised enough money to integrate a Harvard trip into the school’s curriculum.
For those of you who’ve yet to experience the ultimate form of procrastination that is scrolling through dozens of HONY’s touching pictures, Humans of New York is a popular (and we mean over 11 million likes on Facebook) blog that posts portrait shots of New Yorkers, complete with a short interview.
It’s a heart-warming story that began when Stanton posted a photo of a boy from MBHA last Monday. The unnamed boy credited his principal as his biggest influence, specifically recalling a time when “she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of [them] that [they] matter[ed]." The post exploded on the internet– even Harvard’s own Facebook page liked it!
But the story didn’t stop there. Stanton tracked down the principal, whose full name is Nadia L. Lopez, and visited the school, located in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a neighborhood with the highest crime rate within New York City according to Stanton. There, Lopez, Stanton and another teacher conceived of the idea to create a fund that would provide each incoming 6th grade class a chance to visit a “new place,” which, it was decided, would be Harvard.
“I want every child who enters my school to know that they can go anywhere, and that they will belong,” said Lopez in her interview with Stanton.
Though the original goal was to raise $100,000, the fundraiser has already received almost $500,000, which Lopez hopes to use for an educational and safe summer program for her students.
And to make things even better, Stanton himself is visiting Harvard in February! Who doesn’t want to revel in all of his artistic and philanthropic glory in person?