If you haven’t heard by now, “Humans of New York” creator Brandon Stanton has helped bring awareness to the Vidal Scholarship Fund, raising over 1 million dollars (and counting) for inner-city children in one of New York’s most crime-stricken areas to visit the prestigious Harvard University.

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Humans of New York, the blog now book, turned Instagram, Tumblr and more was a concept by Stanton to showcase real human stories –the good, the bad and the ugly– and put faces to the lives of these stories adding an element of humanity often missing in enormous cities like The Big Apple for the world to share.

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I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of New York City’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind, but somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. -Brandon Stanton

Committed to giving back to the city that helped bring his vision of his blog to life, Stanton has most recently featured the students of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a middle school in Brownsville within the borough of Brooklyn. Inspired by a photograph of Principal Nadia Lopez, Stanton shared her story and asked the online communities following Humans of New York to help send her “scholars” to Cambridge, Massachusetts’ private, Ivy league university, Harvard. So far over 1 million dollars have been donated to give the students of Mott Hall Bridges the opportunity to “broaden their horizons and expand their idea of their own potential” as Lopez describes the upcoming trip.

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This is a neighborhood that doesn’t necessarily expect much from our children, so at Mott Hall Bridges Academy we set our expectations very high. We don’t call the children ‘students,’ we call them ‘scholars.’ Our color is purple. Our scholars wear purple and so do our staff. Because purple is the color of royalty. I want my scholars to know that even if they live in a housing project, they are part of a royal lineage going back to great African kings and queens. They belong to a group of individuals who invented astronomy and math. And they belong to a group of individuals who have endured so much history and still overcome. When you tell people you’re from Brownsville, their face cringes up. But there are children here that need to know that they are expected to succeed. -Nadia Lopez

On the fundraising page, Lopez has stated that she “[wants her] scholars to know that there is not a single place they don’t belong.” Who can argue with that? Let’s continue to give to this sweet and vital cause because every child deserves all possible resources to feel encouraged and be successful.

If you’d like to contribute to the Vidal Scholarship Fund and for updates on their efforts, visit their Indiegogo page here.

All photos and media courtesy of the Humans of New York blog and Vidal Scholarship fundraising page.