boston latin charcoal portraits-NBCvideo mashup

A young artist’s simple plan to give fellow students a personal graduation gift turned into a unifying force for calming racial tensions and lifting spirits at this Massachusetts high school.

Students have been in awe since the day when individual, charcoal portraits of each of the 411 graduating seniors went up on display in the hallways at Boston Latin school.

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Senior Phillip Sossou spent four months, working as much as five hours a day after classes, to create the individual portraits. Sometimes he’d do as many as 16 pieces in a single day to meet his deadline.

Sossou thought classmates might momentarily appreciate his drawings as a gift, but was amazed when his artwork brought some students to tears and forged common bonds for the senior class.

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“This will sort of bring about a sense of community,” the young artist told New England Cable News (NECN). “That’s definitely what we need right now, because we’re really fractured.”

The portraits will remain on the walls until graduation, when student will get to take their images home–in many different directions but connected by the artist’s hand.

(WATCH the video below from NECN

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