Search form

Scroll To Top
News & Opinion

Gay Valedictorian Raises $122K for Georgetown After Parents Disown Him

Photo courtesy of GoFundMe

His parents had previously put him through conversion therapy.

College can be a frightening time for any young person. In addition to the mountain of debt, there's the sudden distance from home and family that can be daunting.

For Seth Owen of Jacksonville, Florida, he's finding himself suddenly independent of his parents who've not been particularly accepting of his coming out. After they sent him to conversion therapy, they gave him the ultimatum to either continue going to the church that abuses and oppresses him or leave home and be cut off. He ultimately chose to leave, living with friends and working almost full-time while finishing high school.

Having graduated valedictorian, he was accepted to Georgetown University. But after his parents cut him off, the school has refused to amend his financial aid package. For his first year, he needs $20,000 for tuition.

Seeking generosity from the community he needs most now, Seth's biology teacher and mentor, Jane Martin took to GoFundMe. Since the page was started in June, it's surpassed the $20,000 goal to reach over $122,000. Hopefully that will get him through his undergrad and then some.

To donate to Seth Owen's college fund, visit GoFundMe.

Update: On Friday, Owen put out a statement regarding and update with his financial aid:

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.

Thank you to the staff and professionals at the Georgetown University Office
of Student Financial Services. Over the past several months, the Office of Student Financial Services has worked to address the situation that I faced after I was forced to leave my home, in February. In mid-June of this year, the Office of Student Financial Affairs adjusted my aid package to take into account my circumstances; however, there was still a gap that would need to be filled by private loans. These loans were not a viable option for me, as my parents would not act as the necessary guarantors of the loans. At this point, I thought my dream of attending Georgetown University was over.

Hearing of this situation, my former teacher, Jane Martin, started a GoFundMe campaign. To date, the goals of the campaign have been met many times over.

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 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. This program also includes mentoring and networking opportunities which will help me toassist others in situations similar to the one I found myself in earlier this year.

Georgetown is my dream school because of the limitless opportunities it provides to its students. In particular, my interest in the school was piqued by the prestigious program of study in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. 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. 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. I am looking forward to utilizing the resources of Georgetown to help with this effort.

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.

Best regards,
Seth Owen

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Glenn Garner