The Internet Is Rallying Behind Gay Valedictorian After His Family Rejects Him

seth owen
Jane Martin/GoFundMe

With a 4.61 GPA and an acceptance letter from Georgetown University, 18-year-old Florida student Seth Owen was about to achieve his ultimate goal of heading off to college. The covaledictorian had worked his whole life studying, reading, and preparing for this moment. A harsh reality kicked in, however, when Seth realized he couldn't pay for school. 

As an openly gay teen, Seth had faced rejection from his parents and could no longer count on them to help him afford college. So, Seth's former biology teacher, Jane Martin, decided to step in and create a GoFundMe on his behalf. 

  • Seth's parents had put him through a year of attempted conversion therapy and eventually forced him to leave home.

    "Earlier this year (after a year of attempted conversion therapy), Seth’s parents gave him an ultimatum," Jane wrote. "He would either continue to attend the church that outwardly attacked him and his sexual orientation or he would need to leave home. For his own well-being and safety, Seth chose the latter." 

    Seth has been living with friends and working to support himself since leaving home.

    "His parents have refused to support him emotionally or financially because they deem his sexual orientation inconsistent with their religious beliefs," Jane added. "Throughout this all, Seth held his head high and continued to work almost full-time while finishing high school at the top of his class as the co-valedictorian."

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  • When Seth was admitted to Georgetown University, his financial aid package was based on the assumption he would have parental support.

    "Seth appealed this decision with letters from mental health professionals, school personnel, mentors, and community organizations, but Georgetown University has refused to amend his financial aid package leaving Seth with a $20,000 bill to cover his first year," according to the GoFundMe page. 

  • Although Seth and his teacher thought their $20,000 goal was "unrealistic," they ended up exceeding it by nearly $100,000!

    "I know the goal seems unrealistic and the circumstances aren’t ideal, but I also know communities can make the impossible possible," Jane wrote on GoFundMe.

    Little did she know that the goal of $20,000 would be surpassed within one month thanks to more than 2,000 people! At time of publication for this article, the page had raised $120,575!

    According to Scary Mommy, Seth and Jane said if Georgetown does amend the financial aid package, they will use the funds from the campaign to set up a scholarship for other teens in similar situations.

  • Thanks to the help of one awesome teacher and a couple thousand strangers, Seth is going to the school of his dreams! 

    And damn it, he deserves it! 

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