Just two weeks ago, we reported on how Humans of New York profiled 13-year-old Vidal Chastanet from Brooklyn, who praised his principal Ms. Nadia Lopez because “She told each one of us that we matter.” Social media picked up on the story and after a boatload of likes, comments and shares, over a million dollars has been raised for Vidal’s school of Mott Hall Bridges Academy to visit Harvard University, have summer programs funded and to provide future scholarships. We even got to see Vidal and Ms. Lopez on The Ellen Degeneres Show and yesterday, Chastanet and Ms. Lopez received another gift: they both got to meet President Obama at The White House, who also heard of the inspiring story. HNY creator Brandon Stanton was there as well for the special moment. #PassTheKleenex #NoSeriouslyPassTheKleenex
Stanton was still in behind-the-camera mode when he was at The White House with Chastanet and Lopez and he captured the President speaking with them. There’s also a great picture of Chastanet sitting in the Oval Office’s chair with Obama and Ms. Lopez by his side. It’s such an uplifting moment because where he is currently a student and Ms. Lopez oversees, is in a rough neighborhood where dreams and hopes are often stepped upon and wither away. Mott Hall Bridges Academy is in Brownsville, in Brooklyn. The student population is 85 percent of color, and as implied by The New York Times is a safe haven for these kids to go to when they are not at home. Ms. Lopez has taken it upon herself to be a leader towards her students and to their strengthen their work ethic and most importantly the belief that they are just as capable and smart as anyone else to obtain great success.
Ms. Lopez caring so much about her students left such an impression on Chastanet that when Stanton asked, as he normally does for his blog, who the most influential person in his life was, without hesitation, he named his principal.
For that great picture with Chastanet sitting in the Oval Office chair, Stanton wrote as a part of his caption for it in using a direct he quote from Ms. Lopez: “She always said that there was no place her students did not belong. Recently we received an invitation that proved just that.” We hope you still have your kleenex!
This is just heartwarming. We’re so happy for Chastanet, Ms. Lopez, and the community of Mott Bridges. We’re also thankful for Stanton for sharing these story with us. As Ms. Lopez instilled in her young students that there’s nowhere hard work and confidence couldn’t take them, they in return have inspired us!
What do you think beauties? Type past your tears in the comments below!