Georgetown University first-year student Seth Owen was left speechless during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday (Sept. 11) when he received an unexpected surprise from the generous host.
The 18-year-old’s story went viral in July after one of his teachers launched an online fundraiser to help him cover his college tuition. Owen graduated from Jacksonville’s First Coast High School at the top of his class, but was left unable to afford the $20,000 bill to attend Georgetown after his religious parents couldn’t reconcile his sexual orientation with their own religious beliefs and threw him out of the house after he refused to continue attending a church he said openly disparaged his sexual orientation.
“I asked to go to a different church, and they said that I would either have to go with them or move out. And so I decided that day that I had to move out,” Owen told DeGeneres.
When Owen’s situation spread across the web, the fundraiser raised over $141,000 and Georgetown University offered him a full ride.
Owen says he plans to use the money from the fundraiser to start his own scholarship fund “for people in similar situations.”
At that point, DeGeneres presented the student with a $25,000 check toward the scholarship.
Watch the heartwarming moment below.