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Now That His School Is Paid For, This Gay Valedictorian Is Giving Back

Now That His School Is Paid For, This Gay Valedictorian Is Giving Back

Now That His School Is Paid For, This Gay Valedictorian Is Giving Back

"I will be seeking to pass on the kindness and generosity that I have been shown."

arielsobelle

After raising more than $128,000, Seth Owen, the Jacksonville, Fla. valedictorian whose parents refused to pay for college because he was gay, will donate all of the money raised for him to LGBTQ student scholarships.

When Owen, 18, was driven out of his home by his Southern Baptist parents, his biology teacher Jane Martin set up a GoFundMe page in his name so he could attend Georgetown University even though he couldn't afford the $20,000 parent contribution the school required in his aid package. 

"In mid-June of this year, the Office of Student Financial Affairs adjusted my aid package to take into account my circumstances; however, there was still a gap that would need to be filled by private loans," Seth Owens said in a statement. "These loans were not a viable option for me, as my parents would not act as the necessary guarantors of the loans. At this point, I thought my dream of attending Georgetown University was over."

As Owen's story went viral, it caught the attention of many people willing to help support his education. In fact, over 2,437 donated to the cause.

Georgetown adjusted Owen's financial aid package again so that he would have zero costs, allowing him to attend in the fall. Now able to afford his education, he plans to aid other LGBTQ students with similar challenges.

"The Office of Student Financial Services was instrumental in helping me enroll in the Georgetown Scholarship Program, whose purpose is to make attendance at Georgetown possible for students in a financial situation similar to my own," Owen explained. "This program also includes mentoring and networking opportunities which will help me to assist others in situations similar to the one I found myself in earlier this year."

As for the money raised?

"I am in process of exploring the establishment of a scholarship to help LGBTQ+ scholars who find themselves in the circumstance I was in earlier this year. I am looking forward to utilizing the resources of Georgetown to help with this effort," said Owen. "I will be seeking to pass on the kindness and generosity that I have been shown."

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Ariel Sobel

Ariel is a slam poet turned screenwriter. Born with her heart bleeding down her sleeve, she makes the personal professional, especially in her TED Talk, “Losing My Artistic License.” See more on arielsobel.com.

Ariel is a slam poet turned screenwriter. Born with her heart bleeding down her sleeve, she makes the personal professional, especially in her TED Talk, “Losing My Artistic License.” See more on arielsobel.com.