By Ginia Bellafante
Noëlle Santos, who worked in human resources, was especially torn up. In 2014 she was on Facebook when she stumbled upon a petition to save Barnes & Noble. It pointed out how alarming it was that the Bronx was getting more and more cellphone stores and chain restaurants but would be left without a place to buy novels or training manuals or SAT preparation guides. Ms. Santos grew up in the Bronx, in Soundview, a rough neighborhood, and she stayed in the Bronx for college and graduate school. But she suddenly felt a radical need to do change things.
“Up to that point I had measured my success by how far I could get away from the Bronx,’’ she told me recently. “I was disappointed in myself for thinking about leaving a community in no better condition that I had found it,’’ she said.
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