A woman in North Carolina raised $4500 to clear the debts of seniors at a local high school who would not have graduated otherwise.
Season Bennett, a barbershop owner, says she was inspired to give back to her community after hearing about the generous $40 million pledge by billionaire Robert F. Smith last month to clear the student loans debts of Morehouse College’s class of 2019.
“I thought, ‘Wow, that is just such a powerful thing for anybody,’” Bennett, who owns Headlines Barbershop in Charlotte, told CBS affiliate WBTV. “So many students go into so much debt just trying to get an education.”
So she contacted East Mecklenburg High School and asked for the total amount of debts of any seniors that would not be able to graduate.The school gave her 14 names of students who wouldn’t get their diploma until their school balances were paid in full. The amount totaled $4500.
With that number in mind, she launched a GoFundMe page to help raise the necessary funds. After raising $1000, the campaign got the boost it needed when North Carolina Panthers’ Thomas Davis also decided to donate money.
His daughter came across the campaign and told him about it.
“He said, ‘You know what, whatever need you have left over, we’re going to make sure these students graduate,’ ” Bennett said of the donation that allowed her to reach the goal.
“Thank you to everyone who donated to the EMHS fundraiser,” Bennett said in an update on the GoFundMe page. “We surpassed our goal and now our students will all be able to walk in their graduation ceremony and receive their diplomas.”
The fundraiser, however, is still ongoing, and Bennett says she is donating any remaining funds to the high school’s Anti-Suicide Program.
“We’ve proven that together we can change lives just a few dollars at a time,” she said.