Humans of New York, the wildly popular photo blog run by Brandon Stanton, highlights the extreme vagaries of life as experienced in the melting pot of New York City. Stanton draws out of his subjects' personal stories of triumph and tribulation through evocative and effective communication, then parses the interviews into elegant yet straightforward snippets and a series of beautiful photographs.
The common themes evident through all Humans of New York (HONY) posts are truth and inner knowledge. Stanton's subjects represent every thread of the human tapestry, and yet, he showcases the commonalities that make each story so relatable to the 12+ million followers of his Facebook page. Stanton strips away the superficial to expose his subject's authentic inner dialogues with his unique storytelling style, showing that humans are much more dynamic and similar than expected.
"I want to be a real estate broker. My mentor is a real estate broker named Anthony Morris. He says that he can relate to what I'm going through because Mr. Morris grew up with a lot of challenges and had a hard time when he was younger." "How did you meet him?" "One day I got in a fight with another girl in the hallway, and Principal Lopez said that she wouldn't suspend me if I spent a day with Mr. Morris." of Humans of New York. His recent journeys through New York introduced him to Vidal, a young student from an underserved community in Brooklyn.
When asked who most influenced him, Vidal named his principal Ms. Lopez, who has gone above and beyond her duties to ensure that her scholars succeed in an environment hostile to academic or professional advancement. This dedication and drive sparked an in-depth interview series of the Mott Hall Bridges Academy (MHBA), surveying teachers, students, and community members about their goals, dreams, and challenges. Inspired by the incredible spirit of knowledge-sharing and active mentoring, Stanton began a Kickstarter supporting the school that resulted in over $1 million raised a guest appearance on the Ellen Show and a private meeting with President Barack Obama. What has been the biggest takeaway?
Regardless of where you are in life, you have something to share and something to learn. As Stanton proves, every story reveals a hidden truth and a private lesson. Your words might seem unimportant to you, but they can have a tremendous impact on the world if given the opportunity. Take a second look at your unique gifts; if HONY has proven anything, it is that you are more attractive, reflective, and noble than you know. Share that knowledge with another, and you might ultimately change someone's life.
"You don't do things alone. 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. There are many 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. Always remember to be open to help. Never think that you know everything. And always be ready to listen." - Pres. Barack Obama on Humans of New York Want to turn your workplace into a knowledge-sharing community? Schedule a demo to learn how mentoring can significantly impact educating your employees, supporting their professional growth, and facilitating regular, honest, and open communication. If you liked this article, please feel free to share it on social media.
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