Another college student, disowned by their parents for being LGBT, has been embraced and supported by the community.
Emily Scheck, a sophomore at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, found herself in dire straits when her mother found a picture of Scheck with her girlfriend.
The nightmare scene played out just about as badly as you could ever imagine.
NBC News reports her mother called Scheck ‘disgusting’ and demanded that she attend so-called ‘conversion therapy’ to rid her of her same-sex attraction or face being cut out of her family’s life completely.
Soon after that, Scheck found her parents had removed the license plates from her car.
Scheck had paid for the car, but because her parents were paying for the insurance they had rescinded the payments. Her dad had driven to Buffalo and removed the license plates.
While there he had taken all of Scheck’s belongings from home in Rochester and stuffed them in her car.
She received a message that she was never to contact her parents or her siblings ever again.
Survival was now a day to day challenge.
She had no meal plan at college, so eating was a daily challenge. She had just taken a vacation that her parents had agreed to pay for, but now reneged on that agreement, leaving her with a credit card bill from the trip.
She hadn’t yet purchased her books for the upcoming semester, so she was forced her to borrow books from friends for classes.
All of this while the 19-year-old held down a part-time job at a grocery store as well as a work-study job at school.
And then there was the issue of tuition. It costs about $18,000 a semester at Canisius College, and her partial athletic scholarship for running track didn’t come close to covering the expenses.
Emily Scheck was in a very difficult position.
And then, her friend Grace Hausladen launched a GoFundMe campaign hoping to raise $5,000 to get Scheck through her immediate struggles.
That goal was quickly surpassed.
As Scheck’s plight went viral, so did the GoFundMe campaign. At this writing, over $100,000 has been raised by 2,573 people in 13 days for Scheck.
For a moment, though, the good news seemed tied to bad: NCAA rules didn’t allow for students to receive such funds.
Scheck was given an ultimatum: either return the money raised for food, shelter and college expenses or be forced to give up running track.
Clearly, survival was at the top of Scheck’s priorities and so she prepared herself to give up the sport she loved in order to survive.
Then, in a reversal, most probably due to the extremely bad press the story presented, the NCAA and Canisius College issued statements late last week saying Scheck could accept the donations and also retain her sports eligibility.
Official statement on Emily Scheck eligibility and crowdfunding. pic.twitter.com/nQP3gLAKBg
— GoGriffs (@GoGriffs) November 16, 2018
Emily Scheck can retain her eligibility and continue to receive GoFundMe donations that assist her with living and educational expenses. pic.twitter.com/jut5EjPLnU
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) November 16, 2018
A spokesman at Canisius College released a statement on behalf of Scheck expressing her deep gratitude to everyone who had stepped in to help her at such a vulnerable time in her life.
“Thank you to everyone who showed their love and support in this difficult time,” the statement began. “The positive outreach has been unbelievable. I never expected this amount of support.”
“What has been given is more than anyone could have expected,” Scheck continued.
“With Thanksgiving coming up, I am grateful for everyone in my life who have continuously been there for me,” Scheck continued. “I now know that family is not always something you have, but something you find.”
They say 'It takes a village.' And this is just one more example of community coming together to help.
Earlier this year, Instinct reported on the plight of disowned and homeless high school student Seth Owen, who experienced a similar outpouring of support.
Good on you, world. Your winning side is showing.