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Student of St. Lucian parentage inspires HONY to launch campaign for school

By SNO/ MAIL ONLINE

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Vidal Chastanet. Photo credit: HONY.

A 13-year-old boy of Saint Lucian parentage, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has inspired the founder of Humans of New York (HONY), Brandon Stanton, to launch a campaign to raise US$100,000 for class trips for his school to Harvard University.

Vidal Chastanet who attends the Mott Hall Bridge Academy, based in the tough Brooklyn area, was asked by Stanton to name who has most influenced his life. He replied, “My principal, Ms Lopez because she tells us that we matter.”

Stanton told CNN that Vidal’s response to his question had deeply touched him. His blog features photos of everyday people he meets on the street and has more than eight million followers, but Stanton said it’s the first time he got such a reply from that question.

Mott Hall is located in Brownsville, Brooklyn which is the neighbourhood with the highest crime rate in New York City.

Just four days after launching the campaign, it has already surpassed its initial goal of $100,000 – raising more than $700,000 for the academy.

Mott Hall will use the first $100,000 raised by the campaign – which ends on February 5 – to provide each incoming sixth-grade class annually with a chance to visit Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the New York Post reported.

Principal Nadia Lopez better known as ‘Super Woman’ decided that at the beginning of every year, she wants to accompany the incoming 6th grade class on a tour of Harvard University.

She said she wanted them to know what it feels like to stand on the campus of one of the world’s top schools. She thinks the experience will broaden their horizons and expand their idea of their own potential.

The first student trips to Harvard will be in the fall. The Academy, founded by Ms Lopez in 2010, will use funds raised beyond the original goal for summer programming for students.

Vidal and his family was featured nine times on HONY, where his mother, Christerlina LaLay Alcee- who was born and raised in St. Lucia- spoke very kindly of her son. She said she is very proud of him and what he made happened for his school.

This photo, taken by Stanton, shows Vidal posing with his mother and younger brother outside the Academy. Photo Credit: HONY.

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17 comments

  1. Congratulation vidal continue on that path god is with you. I believe your mom is from garrand babonneau

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  2. great job Vidal keep it up.
    good work with him..God bless

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  3. YOU NEVER MENTIONED WHAT PART OF ST.LUCIA THE MOM COMES FROM. I GUESS IT MIGHT BE CASTRIES.

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  4. Great work Vidal. Keep it up. Continue to work hard, believe in God, and you will do well. Mommy keep on supporting him in all the positive things he does. The world is open to you young man.

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  5. I have been following the story on HONY's Instagram page for the last couple of weeks and never knew his mom was Saint Lucian. Whatever you are doing with this young man, you are doing it right. I hope many more of our young men will model after you!

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  6. Congratulations to the mother who instill morals, kindness, , integrity, wisdom, self esteem to the young he is a true role model. ..much success in his future.

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  7. As a st.lucian i am so proud of you continue on the path you have started and reach for the stars.

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  8. That is a great story. All the best for the future young man.

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  9. Let's hope he picks up from there and do something good with himself.

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  10. U go boy mamma worked hard

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  11. Great accomplishment Vidal and keep it up.

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  12. Let's go Vidal.....continue your good works

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  13. GOD CONTINUE TO PROSPER AND BLESS THIS YOUNG AND HIS BROOKLYN FAMILY. WE NEED TO SEE MORE NEWS ABOUT THE POSITIVE THING OUR YOUTHS ARE DOING,AWESOME! A REAL LEADER IN HIS OWN WAY.$100,000....WOW... HIP HIP HIP...HOORAH!

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  14. hope they give him a scholarship

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  15. At that young age he is already a game-changer. Could he be the next black U.S. President (but of Saint Lucian descent)?

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  16. Vidal im proud of u-Lalay please continue to support him and keep doing what u doing now- its working

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