Manhattan’s Lower East Side today doesn’t look anything like it did just a few decades ago.

The '60s and '70s were an especially chaotic time with residents leaving in droves. Disinvestment in the area was devastating for the community — an impact that would be felt for decades.

Many of the social services agencies that the community relied on also began shutting their doors not long after the mass exodus. This meant that the Lower East Side — specifically the eastern edges of the community, which still has some of the highest rates of poverty in the city — was struggling.

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Maybelline New York Beauty & Beyond

It's not easy for the average person to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

It's hard for people with developmental disabilities too.

Rachel with another Path to Success student. All photos via Upworthy.

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State Farm

In 1838, Mélisande Short-Colomb's ancestors were sold by the co-presidents of Georgetown University to pay down a debt.

This semester, the university is finally repaying part of its debt to her family.

At 63, Short-Colomb is the oldest freshman in Georgetown's incoming class thanks to a new policy that grants the descendants of the 272 enslaved people included in the 1838 sale "legacy" status, which guarantees them a second look in the admissions process.

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