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Viral campaign changes the life of gay student whose parents wouldn't help with tuition

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Wikimedia Commons

A gay student who thought his dreams of going to the prestigious Georgetown University had been dashed has received a full scholarship thanks to the kindness of the university and people who donated to a GoFundMePage. 

Seth Owen, 18, applied for financial aid but the total award would depend on the amount his parents would contribute. Owen had been thrown out of his home because of his sexual orientation, and he knew they wouldn't be any help. 

Estimating that the cost of tuition in the first year alone would be about $20,000 he thought his future in academia looked bleak, “I started to cry, because I realized there was no way that I could go to college,” he said. 

But a former teacher and mentor named Jane Martin was hoping to make "the impossible possible" and started a GoFundMe page to raise the $20,000 for his freshman year, neither of them expecting what happened next. 

Owen's story and campaign went viral and instead of the original goal, the number of donations increased to a whopping $130,000. 

That's not all, this past Friday Georgetown University offered Owen 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 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 plans to use the extra money raised in the crowdfunding campaign for school expenses and to establish a fund to help 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,” he said. “I am looking forward to utilizing the resources of Georgetown to help with this effort.”