The gay teenager whose teacher raised more than $100,000 after he was left homeless by his religious parents will now be able to attend university for free.
Seth Owen, who graduated top of his class from his high school despite being forced to leave his home in February after his parents found out he was gay, has reached an agreement with the Office of Student Financial Services of his dream college Georgetown University.
The university had initially offered an aid package to the student, but it didn’t fully cover the costs—he still needed $20,000 to finance his first year. His biology teacher and mentor Jane Martin set up a GoFundMe page to crowdfund that amount, but as Owen’s story went viral, donations poured in, reaching nearly $130,000 at the time of writing.
“Thank you to all of my supporters in Jacksonville and across the globe who have given their time, talents, and financial support to help me make my dream of attending Georgetown University a reality,” the 18-year-old said in a statement sent to PinkNews on Friday by his swimming coach Kaylee Petik.
“While 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. Due 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,” the teenager was able to confirm.
“I am honored to be selected to attend Georgetown University and am elated that I am now able to attend Georgetown because of the gracious donations to the GoFundMe campaign and the efforts of the Office of Student Financial Services. Thank you to all who have donated to the campaign. Your generosity will help me succeed academically this year and in the years to come,” he said.
Aware of how many other LGBT+ youth may find themselves in his situation—as much as 40 percent of the youth homeless population in the US is LGBT—Owen also promised he would seek to help others the way the community has helped him.
“At 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,” he said.
“Again, a simple ‘Thank You’ seems to be not enough for all of the support I’ve received from so many. I will be seeking to pass on the kindness and generosity that I have been shown,” he added.