The Humans Behind Humans of Bronx Science


Yanny Liang

Alexis Pan ’19 photographs Tahira Hasan ’19 for a HoBS post.

More often than not, you’ll admire a photographer’s work without thinking too much about the production process or the effort put into the piece. This occurs all too often, especially now with the ubiquity of social media. A popular facet of the social media presence of Bronx Science is Humans of Bronx Science, also known as HoBS, a Facebook page inspired by the well-known Humans of New York blog by Brandon Stanton. While HoBS is known by many members of the Bronx Science community, the logistics of the organization are still relatively obscure.

According to their page, HoBS was created with the goal of capturing “the essence of Bronx Science through the stories and anecdotes of the unique people in our school.” Notably, HoBS has written features on candidates running for positions in the Student Organization; it has been a large and helpful platform for helping the student body get to know their potential elected officials. More frequently, the Facebook page features photos of students and faculty alike, along with quotes recounting experiences or ideas about the life and special qualities of Bronx Science.

The page is run by several students, many of whom cite their interest in photography as a major factor behind their decision to join the HoBS team. In fact, Alexis Pan ’19 said her interest in photography began to develop beginning in sixth grade thanks to her mother’s influence; this motivated her to join HoBS during her freshman year. Pan wanted to spread the timeless magic of photos and preserve the memories of Bronx Science for many. She hopes that, when her senior year comes, her peers can look back and feel proud about their achievements. Jonathan Rodriguez ’18 said that he joined because HoBS was a nice combination of his love for photography and his desire to express himself creatively while at school.

The site administrators cite different inspirations for their creative processes. Jabari Kwesi ’19 said that he considers the way his post relates to the person being photographed; he does this to make sure that the post accurately captures the “individuality of the subject.” This mindset plays a significant role in the the range of people displayed on the HoBS page. Rodriguez stated that he aims to inspire people through his posts. As a result, HoBS often features students’ uplifting perspectives on their lives, aspirations, and experiences at Bronx Science.

When choosing a subject, Pan said she “tends to look for people to interview who are especially passionate about a particular hobby like robotics, a sport, art, or people that make the community here extra special in their own way.” This way, she and the other site administrators can accurately capture the unique and wonderful aspects of Bronx Science.

HoBS has been a major factor in increasing the interaction of the site administrators with the student body. Kwesi said that his involvement with HoBS has helped him “to realize that nobody is really average in the first place.”

“HoBS has made me more observant of the people around me and has introduced me to a whole new layer of people whom I didn’t know existed,” Zinberg said.

“HoBS often features students’ uplifting perspectives on their lives, aspirations, and experiences at Bronx Science.”

Pan explained that working as a HoBS administrator has given her an excuse to approach random people and ask for an interview, something she found extremely intimidating when she first joined. She also mentioned the power that holding a camera gave her and how she “used that power to get to know interesting people [she] wouldn’t normally talk to who weren’t in [her] classes or extracurriculars.” This skill in interacting with different people has carried over to her life outside of school and has allowed her to work with a variety of artists and musicians in her free time.

HoBS has played a significant part in facilitating the interactions among Bronx Science students and faculty, ones that may have been more stagnant or even nonexistent if the page did not exist.

It’s a new year and HoBS is looking to improve upon the page and their role in the Bronx Science community. Pan reveals that HoBS has recently reorganized their team and chosen new photographers. They’ve also created a Facebook group to organize and approve photos for the page, and an Excel sheet to keep track of member contributions. Kwesi aspires to improve the consistency of HoBS interviews. Rodriguez and Pan both hope to expand the page’s audience and better represent the community; Pan adds that they are looking towards recruiting underclassmen photographers to do so.

HoBS has been a prominent part of Bronx Science, sharing stories and connecting our large community. The administrators of the page have put in lots of effort to bring the unique stories of individuals at Bronx Science to light, and they look forward to continuing to do so.

Yanny Liang
Alexis Pan ’19 in the middle of a HoBS shoot.

Like or follow HoBS’s Facebook page to keep up with their fantastic work and stay involved with the Bronx Science photo community!