Just a quick post today about a Humans of New York (HONY) story that’s been making waves this week. HONY, created by photographer, Brandon Stanton, aims to capture the portraits and stories of the unique individuals who live and work and gallivant in New York. This simple, yet astoundingly beautiful, act of art has generated a huge following on social media since its inception in 2010. Earlier this week Brandon photographed a young boy who shared a story about his personal champion, his principal, Ms. Lopez. This is what the boy said:
“Who’s influenced you the most in your life?”
“My principal, Ms. Lopez.”
“How has she influenced you?”
“When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. 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.” source
Naturally, as an educator who aims to be just like Ms. Lopez, I cried when I saw this HONY post. This post had the most incredible reaction from Facebook followers and many people asked how they could help the boy’s school. Fast forward to today…
Brandon (HONY photographer) managed to track down the real Ms. Lopez and he ended up in a series of meetings with her. In only five days Brandon, Ms. Lopez and a team of other individuals have managed to raise over $350,000 for the school, Mott Hall Bridges Academy.
Can we all just stop for a minute here and send some gratitude to the young man who was brave enough to share his story with Brandon. Because of that boy’s shared story, his school now has the ability to achieve some serious goals and create some phenomenal projects in the months to come! I absolutely adore this story. Three cheers for Ms. Lopez, Brandon and the students at Mott Hall Bridges Academy – way to be the change!