Seth Owen, First Coast High School’s 2018 valedictorian, received over $80,000 in donations after his parents shunned him for being homosexual. Georgetown University wrote that their financial services have been adjusted for the student and that “his expected contribution is now $0.” Owen has more than expressed his gratitude. 

Owen’s Southern Baptist parents enrolled him in gay conversion therapy. According to the American Medical Association, conversion therapy lacks scientific credibility and promotes harm. After Owen had gone to therapy for a year, his parents gave him an ultimatum. They told him that he could choose between going to their church which attacks the LGBTQ+ community, or he could move out. 

Owen left, devasted. He stated:

The worst part was I was packing my bags, and I was walking out the door, and I was hoping that my mom would stand in my way. I was hoping that she would say, ‘I love my child more than I love my religion.’”

After being forced from his parents’ home, Owen lived on friends’ couches. He soon received a financial aid package from Georgetown. The university attempted to appeal his aid, as Georgetown gave Owen the package with the assumption that his parents would help pay his tuition. Owen sent Georgetown letters from mental health professionals and school officials, but nothing worked. 

 

SETH OWEN’S FORMER TEACHER SETS UP THE GOFUNDME

 

Luckily, Owen’s former biology teacher, Jane Martin, created a GoFundMe page to raise the necessary $20,000 Owen needed to enroll in Georgetown. The campaign has received more than enough money in support of Owen. 

If Georgetown ends up granting Owen more financial aid, Owen and Martin will use the funds they have gathered to set up a scholarship for other teens in the same situation. 

Featured Image via/ GoFundMe