Principal Nadia Lopez was about to resign from her Brownsville, Brooklyn school when one of her students, Vidal Chastanet, called her the most influential person in his life on the storytelling blog, Humans of New York.
"When we get in trouble, she doesn't suspend us," Vidal explained to photographer Brandon Stanton. "One time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter."
Principal Lopez, Vidal and Brandon (not pictured) appeared on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show.' (Photo Credit: Brandon Stanton/Humans of New York)
Because of Principal Lopez's profound impact not only on her students' lives, but also the millions who follow HONY on Facebook, $1.1 million has been raised to fund summer programs, scholarships and an annual trip to Harvard University at her school, Mott Hall Bridges Academy.
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“This is a neighborhood that doesn’t necessarily expect much from our children. We don’t call the children ‘students,’ we call them ‘scholars,’" Principal Lopez shared. "When you tell people you’re from Brownsville, their face cringes up. But there are children here that need to know that they are expected to succeed.”
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