A trip from New York to Boston may not seem all that special to us, but for the scholars at Mott Hall Bridges Academy, it was huge.
Earlier this year, Brandon Stanton — founder of the popular photo blog Humans of New York — teamed up with Mott Hall principal Nadia Lopez to raise $100,000 to send their students on annual trip to Harvard University. They quickly surpassed their goal.
It all began with an inspiring young man named Vidal Chastanet who named Lopez as the most influential person in his life and his story erupted in a matter of days.
Yesterday, the scholars arrived on the Harvard campus for the first time for an early college-awareness program that emphasizes the importance and power of education.
Mott Hall is located in Brownsville, New York — a neighborhood that has a struggling reputation for education, but Lopez hopes that the conversation will expand further than just escaping a bad neighborhood.
Greeted by President Drew Faust, she reminded the young visitors what a crucial role teachers play in the lives of students.
“One day you will be seeing perhaps your teachers standing in front of you celebrating your achievements as you move into life and build on what they’re teaching you now,” Faust said in an opening ceremony. “They are inspiring, I know, and that inspiration I can tell you lasts throughout your lifetime.”
Lopez was next in speaking to her scholars.
“This is your right, and this is an option for you,” Lopez said. “The only thing that will stop you from getting to this space is yourselves.”
Mott Hall Bridges Academy visits HarvardThe inspiring story of Vidal, Principal Lopez, and scholars from Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, NY — and what a college education means to them.Thank you, Humans of New York, for introducing us to these scholars!
Posted by Harvard University on Friday, April 3, 2015