Famed As: Principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy
About: Nadia L. Lopez is the principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a middle school in Brownsville. Brownsville, a city in New York, is profiled to be one of the poorest and most violent neighborhoods in the US, making education and empowerment a difficult task. Before Mott Hall Bridges Academy, Lopez was a founding teacher of the UA Institute of Math and Science for Young Women in 2006. After 4 years, she founded Mott Hall Bridges Academy with the hopes of empowering the “scholars” (her term for students) to rise above adversity. As a method of empowering her scholars, she takes a group to visit Harvard to show that no college is out of their reach. After receiving praise from one of her students on a Humans of New York (HONY) post, the HONY community raised over $1 million to send groups of students to Harvard for 10 years and also start a summer program to give scholars a safe and enriching place to spend their summers.
Quote: “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.”
Contributor: Aishee Das