Boy's 'Humans of New York' image helps raise more than $1 million

Story highlights

  • "Humans of New York" portrait inspires online fundraising campaign for school
  • It was intended to fund three classes' trip to Harvard
  • But extra money will now go to summer studies, a scholarship fund

(CNN)One principal's inspiration has resulted in more than $1 million in donations for what started as an initiative to raise funding for a class trip to Harvard.

"Humans of New York" creator Brandon Stanton launched the campaign to benefit Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, known as a "safe zone in a crime-plagued neighborhood." The goal of the trip is to broaden students' horizons and expand their idea of their potential, Stanton wrote on the campaign page.
It took about 45 minutes for an online campaign to raise an initial $100,000.
    The campaign evolved from a picture this week on "Humans of New York," the massively popular photo series of everyday people Stanton meets on the street. The fundraising campaign's rapid success speaks in part to the reach of "Humans of New York," which has a social media following of nearly 12 million on Facebook alone. It's also a testament to the ability of social media to breathe new life into a feel-good story.
    The inspirational post featured a picture of a Mott H