*Season Bennett, a popular barbershop owner from North Carolina, says she was so inspired by the billionaire Robert F. Smith generous gift to the 2019 graduating class of Morehouse — that she was moved to raise thousands to help high schoolers in her area.
Bennett has reportedly raised $4500 to clear the debts of seniors at East Mecklenburg High School, who would not have graduated without her financial blessing, Essence reports.
Bennett was called to act after hearing about Smith’s generous $40 million pledge last month to clear the student loan debts of recent Morehouse grads.
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— Season Bennett (@TheSocialBarber) February 5, 2016
“I thought, ‘Wow, that is just such a powerful thing for anybody,’” Bennett told CBS affiliate WBTV. “So many students go into so much debt just trying to get an education.”
She then contacted East Mecklenburg High School to inquire about the debts of seniors who wouldn’t be able to graduate until the outstanding amount was settled. She was reportedly given the names of 14 students whose balances totaled $4500.
Bennett launched a GoFundMe page to raise the funds, which received a significant boost from North Carolina Panthers’ Thomas Davis.
“He said, ‘You know what, whatever need you have left over, we’re going to make sure these students graduate.’ ”
Davis’ donation allowed her to reach the goal.
“Thank you to everyone who donated to the EMHS fundraiser,” Bennett posted 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 is still ongoing, and any remaining funds will be donated to the high school’s Anti-Suicide Program, the report states.
“We’ve proven that together we can change lives just a few dollars at a time,” said Bennett.