The Surge

I am a fan of Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York photoblog. Stanton interviews and photographs regular every day people on the streets of NYC and posts their responses. Most often, the insights and wisdom that people share are deeply personal and rich. This week, he shared this young man’s photo and quote. It touched me:


A couple days later, we got to meet Ms. Lopez:



Pretty incredible leader, right? As the week went on, we learned more about the kids of Mott Hall Bridges Academy and the daily challenges of trying to teach and learn in one of New York’s most violent neighborhoods. Then, an idea was born:


Within a few days, Humans of New York has raised close to $450,000 for the school’s programs. It has been so well funded, in fact, that an annual trip to Harvard is now a permanent part of the curriculum. In addition, the school can now offer a summer program that affords it’s students a chance to leave their homes safely and continue learning during the time of year they would normally be locked inside and regressing. The generosity didn’t stop there, though. People sent Ms. Lopez flowers too:


How incredible is that? It all started with a young boy and his love for his principal. In a world where politics and 24-hour news cycles make everything seem so overwhelmingly negative, it’s nice to see that huge change can come from something as simple as hope and faith in each other.

This story grew bigger than anyone could’ve imagined. To date, the HONY campaign has raised more than one million dollars. Corporate sponsorships have now begun to roll in that will provide technology for not only Mott Hall but the schools in the surrounding communities. Oh, and this happened:



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