Donors raises more than $60K online to pay for gay valedictorian to go to college
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A high school valedictorian in Florida, who says he was ostracized by his parents because of his sexuality, will be able to go to college in the fall thanks to a GoFundMe campaign

Seth Owen, 18, graduated from First Coast High School in Jacksonville with a 4.16 GPA. He had been accepted to Georgetown University, but worried that he wouldn't be able to go, because he couldn't afford tuition and said he couldn't count on his family for financial support, NBC News reported

That prompted one of his teachers to set up a fundraising page on the website GoFundMe in an effort to raise money for his first year's tuition at the prestigious D.C. school.


The page set a fundraising goal of $20,000. As of Tuesday evening, however, the page had raised more than triple its goal, surpassing $60,000.

Owen's parents discovered he was gay during his sophomore year of high school. It wasn't long after that that he was sent to conversion therapy, he told NBC News. 

In February of this year, Owens asked that his parents allow him to stop attending their church, citing its anti-LGBTQ teachings and rhetoric. He was then given a choice: stay in the church or leave home.

Owens told NBC News that he chose to leave for his own sake. It was after that that he received his financial aid package from Georgetown and was hit with the reality that he could not afford to attend.

That's when his biology teacher, Jane Martin, stepped in and created the GoFundMe page.

"Seth was just a kid that really stood out to me,” she told NBC News. "He was super ambitious and was always trying to go above and beyond to make sure he could be as successful as possible."

--Updated at 9:49 p.m.