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She Opened a School to Close a Prison

28 Oct

She Opened a School to Close a Prison

Posted By: 
Kaitlyn Guay
In one of the most violent and underprivileged communities in NYC, Nadia Lopez defied all odds to open Mott Hall Bridges Academy. Lopez painstakingly built Mott Hall Bridges Academy from the ground up, mindfully choosing everything, from educators who could compassionately and effectively serve children from underprivileged neighborhoods, 30% of which had special needs, and 86% of which were below grade-level, to the colors of the Academy crest: royal colors of purple and black, to remind students that they had, as Lopez put it, “descended from greatness.”

When asked why, Lopez said, “It was evident that they had no idea that a landscape of opportunity existed beyond their neighborhood.”

Nadia Lopez knew that without education, without someone showing these students the possibility of a life outside of their current reality, these children, all of which were living beneath the national poverty line, had a bleak future. Her personalized approach succeeded. To date, the Mott Hall Bridges Academy has had three graduating classes with a 98% graduation rate.

One of those scholars was interviewed by the sensationally popular blog, “Humans of New York.” His interview inspired millions.

In this moving TED talk, watch how Lopez changed these children’s lives simply by believing in them when they had never learned how to believe in themselves. She is a shining example of how the power of student-driven education can do more than give purpose- it can change lives.