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A human of New York raises $1.2 Million for Underprivileged Students

The photography account Humans of New York has started an online campaign where he raises over $1 million to support the high school debate team coach who has drained his savings to keep his debate team afloat.

The photography account started as a street photography project led by Brandon Stanton, where he featured portraits of New Yorkers along with interviews and their lives. The project was launched in 2010, where he used the platform where he raised money for his subjects, from the woman on the rent while undergoing cancer treatment to the tired burlesque dancer.

27-year-old Jonathan Conyers had finally had the scope of sharing his life story on HONY. Thus, he has decided to honour K.M. DiColandrea, his high school debate coach.

Recently, he has made an expense of $6,000 from his savings, intending to fund the Brooklyn Debate league that offers free debate and speech programs for teenagers who cannot afford extortionate amounts for tournaments and prep camps.

Donations started pouring in after Stanton posted the interview series with DiColandrea and Conyers. The set-up for the GoFundMe Campaign on Monday has risen to nearly $1.3 million for the league.

Conyers has revealed his first encounter with Dicolandreas at the age of 14 in his HONY post.

A human of New York raises $1.2 Million for Underprivileged Students
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Conyers, who was addicted to the drug, had once broken into a home, but he was not charged for it. He further mentioned that he got admitted to the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlen. Later, his principal pushed him to take part in an extracurricular activity. The discussion on drug addiction caught his attention in the debate room, and this is how he decided to thrive on his debate team of DiColandrea. He further added that Ms Dico even recommends several articles on drug addiction, and she will make him understand how his parents love him and aren't at all bad people. She will even offer to read it together. She had even offered to wash his clothes whenever he saw his clothes all wrinkled up and has even covered fees for his tournament when he was short on money.

Later, when he came out as trans, students started referring to him using his nickname Dico. He further continued in the HONY feature saying that he thanked God for making DiCo the first person he met. For him, he is the only person who has really understood and loved him. However, being trans does not change how he feels about DiColandrea.

He has won a scholarship to the State University at Stony Brook, where he majored in respiratory therapy. Currently, he has secured the position of respiratory therapist at the newborn intensive care unit of NYU Langone Medical Center.

On the other hand, DiColandrea has become a history teacher at Stuyvestant High School, where he continues coaching underprivileged teenagers in debate and speech.

  • Ashwini Kumar
  • November 18,2022
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