Obama meets boy who inspired $1 million fundraiser

Story highlights

  • A "Humans of New York" portrait inspires a visit to White House
  • One student had named his principal as his inspiration in the photo blog
  • He inspired a fundraiser to pay for school trips to Harvard, summer studies, scholarships

(CNN)Middle school student Vidal Chastanet was simply stating his truth about the school principal who inspires him in his rough Brooklyn neighborhood.

Featured in the wildly popular "Humans of New York" photo series in January, a picture of Chastanet along with his sentiments went viral, and a subsequent fundraiser pulled in more than $1 million for his school.
That's how Chastanet, 13, ended up at the White House on Thursday.
    The young man; his inspirational principal, Nadia Lopez; and "Humans of New York" creator Brandon Stanton all got the chance to meet Obama. (That's Chastanet in Obama's seat in the Oval Office.)
    "You don't do things alone," Obama told Chastanet, according to Stanton's blog. "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."