Jacksonville, Fla. student Seth Owen, 18, had a 4.16 GPA and all the promise of the future. He just had no money to make it a reality. After his parents kicked him out of the house for being gay, he was on his own.
Thatâ€™s when the town chipped in to help fund his college education and raised over $120,000Â (the original crowdfunding goal was set at $100,000) so that he could attend Georgetown University.
However, an incredible thing happened after all the money was raised: Georgetown decided to waive his tuition. Completely.
The initial $20,000 tuition fee that hung over him for the first year was suddenly gone. A door that had seemed closed made room for a window to open.
â€śWhile the campaign has been ongoing, the professionals at the Office of Student Financial Services have continued to work with me to make my dream a reality,â€ť Owen said in a statement. â€śDue to their efforts and attention, they were able to adjust my aid package even further, my expected contribution is now $0. With these new adjustments, I will be able to attend Georgetown University this fall.â€ť
Owen toldÂ NBC NewsÂ that he had moved out of his parentâ€™s home in February after multiple arguments pertaining to his sexuality. He had endured over a year of attempted â€śconversion therapyâ€ť with their prodding.
He lived with friends and worked to carry his financial weight â€“ almost full-time while finishing high school at the top of his class as the co-valedictorian.
â€śThe 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,â€ť Owen said. â€śThis 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.â€ť
Paying it forward was always a part of Owenâ€™s plan, but itâ€™s more real now than ever before.
â€śAt the moment, 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,â€ť he said. â€śI am looking forward to utilizing the resources of Georgetown to help with this effort.â€ť
And in typical Owen fashion, he parted his statement with: â€śI will be seeking to pass on the kindness and generosity that I have been shown.â€ť
Original article appeared on LGBTQNation.com
August 4, 2018