January 27, 2015

The Beautiful Power of Social Media

By now I am sure most people - especially if you have a Facebook account - have encountered one or two of the posts from the page Humans of New York.  My first exposure to it was through friends either liking or sharing the wonderful portraits and stories shared by the pages creator, Brandon. Eventually I decided to follow the page myself, because it is one of the few pages whose posts I am always interested in and don't just scroll past. (Sorry to all the other pages I follow..)

I only discovered him a few months ago, but Brandon has been photographing the people of New York since 2010.  He is very talented, and the stories and interviews that he shares along with the portraits are fascinating and often quite profound.

One week ago, Brandon photographed a boy named Vidal.

Vidal comes from a part of New York City called Brownsville, a very dangerous, rough and difficult neighborhood to grow up in.

A few days later, Brandon ended up meeting Vidal's principal Ms. Lopez... and that's when things got amazing.

You see, after that first meeting with Ms. Lopez, she and Brandon brainstormed an idea to take the kids in the school to Harvard.  They wanted to give these kids a chance to see what was outside of the rough world they were growing up in, and to know that they had just as much of a shot at a good future as anyone else did.

Brandon shared the fundraiser the school started to make this idea a reality... and in four days, they raised over $700,000.  According to Brandon, that's enough for ten years worth of trips to Harvard and summer camps for all of the children at the school so that they could have a safe place to go when school wasn't in session to do activities, play and be kids.

From this point on, any more funds collected over the $700,000 is going to be set aside to start funding a scholarship program for graduates of the school.  They've decided to call it the Vidal Scholarship, and Vidal is going to be the first one to receive it.

This folks, is the true, beautiful power that social media has. In just four days, the lives of all these kids at this elementary school have been completely turned around and they and the children who come after them have been giving a world of hope. This is what we should be using the internet and social media for.

People did all this in just four days.  Can you imagine what else we might be able to do?

Visit Here to Donate to Motts Elementary School


  1. It's weird that you bring the whole "social media" thing up because that's all I seem to be hearing about the past few weeks. Everywhere I go that topic seems to come up! Odd...but I like it. Lol!

  2. My older brother borrowed the Humans of New York book from our library, and I think it's really cool too! Also, did you see the Humans of JJC club at Mainstreet today? I really want to join it, even though I probably don't have enough time to make it a good idea.

  3. HONY rocks. God bless brandon and all the people he's involved with and helped.

    The Starving Inspired


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