This is Seth Owen: valedictorian, student-leader, brother, son, friend, and future Georgetown Hoya.
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 later. 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.
I know the goal seems unrealistic and the circumstances aren’t ideal, but i also know communities can make the impossible possible.
It’s Pride Month and rainbows abound around the world. Help me bring a rainbow in the midst of Seth’s storm.