Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the wildly popular “Humans of New York” project, helped raise $US1 million for a middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn middle school when he posted this photo of sixth-grader Vidal Chastanet.
Stanton, who photographs and interviews people he sees around New York City, ran into Chastanet when he was walking around Brownville, which has the highest crime rate in the city. Chastanet, a sixth grader at Mott Hall Bridges Academy, said his school principal had played a major influence in his life.
Stanton posted the photo and interview to his “Humans of New York” Facebook page, which has more than 12.1 million likes. In just a few weeks, Chastanet’s picture has racked up more than 1 million likes.
The meeting and reaction inspired Stanton to meet Chastanet’s school principal, Nadia Lopez. He helped the school set up an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to send the sixth-grade class on a trip to Harvard.
The campaign went viral, raising more than $US1.25 million.
Chastanet also caught President Obama’s eye. The 13-year-old and his principal were invited to the White House last week, where they met with Obama. The President shared who had influenced him the most, as well as what had been his biggest disappointments in life.
Stanton chronicled the meeting on “Humans of New York.”
And you can watch the White House’s video of the meeting here.