Inspired by the words of 13-year-old Vidal Chastanet, a student from one of Brooklyn’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods, Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton launched a campaign to benefit the students of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville. The campaign, which was started on Indiegogo Life, initially hoped to raise $100,000 that could go towards sending middle schoolers on a trip to Harvard University in Boston.

 

Some money from the campaign will go towards starting the Vidal Scholarship Fund, which will give one exemplary student a scholarship each year. The first recipient will be Vidal himself (life.indiegogo.com)

Some money from the campaign will go towards starting the Vidal Scholarship Fund, which will give one exemplary student a scholarship each year. The first recipient will be Vidal himself (life.indiegogo.com)

Just two weeks after the campaign was launched on January 22, over $1 million from about 40,000 donors has been raised, making it the most highly funded campaign on Indiegogo Life to date.

 

With the initial target having been met more than ten times over, Stanton decided to expand the goal of the campaign. Rather than using the money raised solely to organize trips to Harvard, the funds would go towards two additional programs as well: a summer program and an annual scholarship that would be awarded to one exemplary student.

 

Stanton built his blog and his brand based on his desire to tell the stories of one of the most eclectic cities in the world. What has grown from his tremendous photo-blogging success is an opportunity to not just tell stories, but to create stories.

 

Stanton is consistently changing the realities of his photo subjects by raising awareness and starting campaigns, just as he is doing now for the Mott Hall Bridges Academy. Most importantly, he engages the public in these efforts, giving them an opportunity to be as involved in the change as he is. He makes his goal and commitment to social responsibility a community goal — one that can only be achieved through active participation by the public at large.

 

To donate to the campaign, visit life.indiegogo.com between now and 11:59pm PT on February 9.


How do you think Stanton’s goal of sending Brownsville students to Harvard and building programs to enrich their learning will make a difference in the realities of these students? Share your thoughts with us below or tweet me @tamarahoumi