18-year old Seth Owen from Jacksonville, Florida was thrown out by his parents for being gay and not adhering to their religious beliefs will graduate as co-valedictorian of his class. Owen spoke to News4Jax that his parents saw a photo of him and started to demand that he attend a church that has a strict anti-LGBTQ view on homosexuality. “They made it clear the intention was to make me straight. (That) was their end goal,” he stated.
Despite being homeless Owen maintained a 4.16 GPA and now trying to raise funds to attend Georgetown University. A GOFundMe campaign was set up for Owen to help pay for his tuition, and has to date has raised more than $25,000. Tuition at Georgetown is about $77,000 and will receive some financial assistance from the University. You can donate HERE.
Owen’s former biology teacher wrote the following:
“I taught Seth biology and mentored him throughout his high school years. He was the ring bearer in my wedding. Last month, I watched him walk across the stage in a Jacksonville arena weighted down by more cords and medals to count. I’m writing this community for help.
Earlier this year (after a year of attempted conversion therapy), Seth’s parents gave him an ultimatum. 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. He’s been living with friends and working to sustain himself since financially. His parents have refused to support him emotionally or financially because they deem his sexual orientation inconsistent with their religious beliefs. 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.
Seth was admitted to Georgetown University and received a financial aid package based on the premise of 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 $20,000 bill to cover his first year.”
Thanks to generous donors Owen has made his first year’s goal.