By DIYA VASUDEVAN
Humans of New York
If you have not heard of it before today, you will know about it soon. Brandon Stanton, the creator of the Facebook pages known as HONY, has forever changed the life of Vidal Chastanet, a young boy from a Brooklyn Middle School.
What was an extremely popular photo series blog created by Stanton, turned into a vehicle for change. Just by sharing a few kind words about a very important person in Vidal’s life, the lives of Vidal and those around him have changed forever.
Stanton’s blog shows ordinary people and gives insight into their extraordinary lives, and that is exactly what this story has become, extraordinary. After Vidal expressed his sentiments for his middle school principle Nadia Lopez on Stanton’s site, the photo went viral, and the viewers of HONY did what they do best which was to offer all they could to assist in the aims of Vidal’s principal, Lopez. With Stanton heading the fundraiser, the school managed to raise $1.2 million — far exceeding their initial aims.
One boy’s kind words helped raise $1.2 million, helped provide the additional support his principal needed to continue fighting for what she believed in and got him to where he was this past Thursday, The White House.
In perhaps the most important of Stanton’s photo stories, he captures President Barack Obama’s words “You don’t do things alone. Nobody does things alone. Everybody always needs support. For a young man like you, you should never be too afraid or too shy to look for people who can encourage you or mentor you,” Obama said. “There are a lot of people out there who want to provide advice and support to people who are trying to do the right thing. So you’ll have a lot of people helping you. Just always remember to be open to help. Never think that you know everything. And always be ready to listen.”
President Obama’s words could not be closer to the truth and Vidal’s story is proof of just that.