What started with a picture and a post on the popular Humans of New York blog has led to more than $1 million in donations and now, a trip to the Oval Office.
The post, featuring 13-year-old middle school student Vidal Chastanet from Brownsville, Brooklyn, has received more than 1 million likes on Facebook and more than 145,000 shares.
Chastnet talks to Humans of New York about the person who has influenced him most, Ms. Lopez, his school’s principal. Chastanet attends Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the neighborhood in New York City with the highest crime rate.
“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,” Chastanet told Humans of New York.
Their story inspired President Obama, so it was only a matter of time before Chastanet, Nadia Lopez and Brandon Stanton, the Humans of New York creator and photographer, received an invitation to the White House.
The president sat down with the three Thursday, giving them the opportunity to share their inspirational story and let them ask him some personal questions.