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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 3 July, 2020

These children's lives were changed thanks to one photograph

Here’s their story.

hony Source: YouTube

BLOGGER BRANDON STANTON (above) is one of those people who makes you question just what you’re doing with your life.

He’s like a force of nature, managing to capture all human life in the Big Apple for his blog, Humans of New York, helping raise awareness of international issues, and now raising over $1 million for underprivileged kids.

His latest project saw his fans dig deep into their pockets and stump up over $1.1m in change to help bring a group of schoolchildren from an area with the highest crime rate in NY for a visit to Harvard.

The pupils are from Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which Stanton describes as “not the best place to be a kid”.

hony class Source: Humans of New York via Instagram

Why would a visit to Harvard be so beneficial? As Stanton himself put it:

Principal Nadia Lopez (aka SuperWoman) has a plan for her Brownsville middle schoolers. At the beginning of every year, she wants to accompany the incoming 6th grade class on a tour of Harvard. Since many of her scholars have never left New York, she wants them to know what it feels like to stand on the campus of one of the world’s top schools, and know that they belong. She thinks the experience will broaden their horizons and expand their idea of their own potential.

Ms Lopez even said herself that Brownsville “doesn’t necessarily expect much for our children”, but the school wants to show the next generation that they can and will succeed in life.

The fundraising was needed because of the school’s dwindling budget, coupled with the extremely limited incomes that most families in the neighbourhood have.

From $100k to $1million

Stanton wanted to raise $100,000, which would fund a Harvard trip for three different classes over three years.

He asked his 11 million-plus followers to “really hit it out of the park for these kids”. And oh boy, did they.

hony 2 Source: Indiegogo

As of today, just under two weeks since the Indiegogo fundraiser launched, a total of $1,175,958 has been donated by nearly 40,000 people. There is now enough money to hold over $700,000 for years of Harvard trips, hold a summer programme, and set start a scholarship fund for the graduates of Mott Hall Bridges Academy.

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The fund will be called the Vidal Scholarship Fund, after this guy, who started off the whole thing:

hony vidal Source: Humans of New York via Instagram

Vidal met Brandon on the street two weeks ago, and told him about his love and appreciation for his school principal, Ms Lopez.

“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.”

After Vidal and Brandon met, the photographer visited the school, chatted to the pupils and Ms Lopez, and within hours had concocted the plan to bring the students to Harvard for a trip.

Within days, they’d reached the million dollar mark. Sometimes, people are just good people.

VIDEO: Humans of New York on how to find out strangers’ deepest secrets>

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