Middle school students from an underserved community in Brooklyn, New York, will take a free trip to visit Harvard University this summer thanks to a powerful social media post and generous donations that have reached $700,000 as of Monday.
On Jan. 19, Humans of New York, a popular Facebook page that shares images and stories of New Yorkers, posted a picture of Vidal, a student at Mott Hall Bridges Academy middle school located in the Brownsville neighborhood. The boy said his principal, "Ms. Lopez," was the most influential person in his life. The post has been "liked" more than 1 million times.
"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," Vidal told Humans of New York.
Several days later, Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York, profiled Principal Lopez and other teachers at Mott Hall Bridges Academy. After many readers were inspired by the stories of Mott Hall, principal Lopez, assistant principals Achuhey and Stanton decided to launch a fundraiser that would allow every incoming student to visit Harvard University.
"We want to create a fund that will provide each incoming 6th grade class at Mott Hall Bridges Academy a chance to get out of their neighborhood and visit a new place. And that place is Harvard University. 'I want every child who enters my school to know that they can go anywhere, and that they will belong,' said Ms. Lopez," a post on Jan. 22 states.
Since last Thursday, the school has surpassed the $100,000 goal. There are still 11 days left in the campaign. More info on the "Let's Send Kids to Harvard" fundraiser can be found here.
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(Photo: Courtesy of Humans of New York)