Georgetown gives full ride to gay high school valedictorian kicked out by his parents

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Seth Owen, a high school valedictorian from Florida whose parents ostracized him because of his sexuality, has reportedly been offered a full-ride scholarship to attend Georgetown University in the fall.

{mosads}Owen, who graduated from First Coast High School in Jacksonville with a 4.16 GPA, captured headlines late last month after one of his teachers set up a fundraising page to raise money for his first year’s tuition at Georgetown. The page, which initially set a fundraising goal of $20,000, surpassed $129,000.

But now, Owen says, Georgetown has decided to offer him a full scholarship.

“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,” Owen said on Friday in a statement sent to NBC News. “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.”

Owen’s story picked up traction on social media after he told NBC News last month that his parents discovered he was gay during his sophomore year of high school. Shortly after that, he said they sent him to conversion therapy.

Earlier this year, Owen said he asked his parents to allow him to stop attending their church over teachings and rhetoric he said were anti-LGBTQ. He said he was later given choice by his parents to either stay in the church or leave home. 

Owen said he decided to leave for his own sake. After he received his financial aid package from Georgetown, he was hit with the reality that he might not be able to afford to attend.

Now, the 18-year-old said he plans to use the funds raised by the GoFundMe page to cover additional expenses he may have while attending the prestigious Washington, D.C., school, in addition to using it to start a scholarship fund for other students.

“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,” Owen said. “I am looking forward to utilizing the resources of Georgetown to help with this effort.”

Tags Georgetown Georgetown University Seth Owen

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