The bridge to brilliance : how one principal in a tough community is inspiring the world / Nadia Lopez

“Anyone who has made it in this life – whether or not he or she is honest about it – had an advocate.” Teacher and Principal Nadia Lopez is her Scholars’ #1 advocate. She is also their disciplinarian, friend, mentor, parental figure, guidance counselor, cheerleader and fund-raiser. She started Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a middle school in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn, New York City with two goals. One – to let her students be children – not an easy task when they are toughened by their economically disadvantaged lifestyle. Two – to give them the skills to be confident as students when they leave – to play, learn, build resiliency, take risks, become compassionate – all without worry about failure.  While Lopez sets seemingly unattainable goals for herself and her students, she works tirelessly to expand their horizons and undo the years of disservice of their previous school years. Believing that “education is exposure” Lopez arranges that the entire Academy visits Harvard, helping her scholars to believe that “they belong in any neighborhood they choose to go.” The Mott Hall story has gone viral on YouTube, Lopez has been to the White House and has given a Ted talk.     Celeste 11/28/2016

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