The creator of an uber-popular photography blog about the residents of New York City has helped raise $1 million and counting so kids in a high-crime area of Brooklyn can get a taste of the Ivy League. Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York, set up the Indiegogo page for Mott Hall Bridges Academy last week with an initial goal of $100,000, money that principal Nadia Lopez would use to take sixth-graders on a new annual field trip to Harvard, reports People. Donors blew past that goal in less than an hour, and now Stanton says a scholarship fund will also be created for kids at the school.
The idea for the fundraising page emerged after Stanton met 13-year-old Vidal Chastanet, who told him all about Lopez, his principal, reports New York. Things like this: "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." Stanton then met Lopez himself, heard about her plan for the Harvard field trips—she wants them "to know that there is not a single place they don't belong"—and offered to help with fundraising. (A smaller-scale fundraiser got back an elderly man's pawned wedding ring.)