A high school valedictorian who says his Southern Baptist parents ostracized him because of his sexuality is fulfilling his dream of going to college thanks to a generous GoFundMe campaign.
Seth Owen, who identifies as gay, graduated from First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Florida, with a 4.16 GPA, NBC News reports.
The 18-year-old self-described “nerd” planned on attending Georgetown University in the fall, but was unable to afford the tuition and said he couldn’t count on his parents for financial support.
So Jane Martin, Owen’s former biology teacher and mentor, created a GoFundMe page to raise the $20,000 he would need to order to enroll.
As of this posting, the online campaign has raised over $81,000 and counting.
According to Martin’s GoFundMe description, after Owen endured a year of gay conversion therapy — a “harmful” practice the American Medical Association has found to have a “lack scientific credibility” — his parents eventually gave him an ultimatum. The teen was told that would have to continue attending his family’s church that outwardly attacked his sexual orientation and the LGBTQ community or move out.
Owen made the heartbreaking decision to leave.
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