In late July, Instinct reported on the story of Seth Owen, a high school student who became homeless after his father did a deep dive into his cell phone and discovered Seth was gay.
The intrusion into Seth’s personal life began a series of events that led to a year of being subjected to so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ being forced to attend a church that was very anti-gay, and eventually being thrown out of his home.
However, homelessness would not deter Seth.
Incredibly, while couch-surfing throughout his senior year of high school, he maintained a 4.16 GPA and graduated as co-valedictorian of his class.
Even as he celebrated his amazing achievement, Seth learned after he was accepted to prestigious Georgetown University that his parents reneged on any financial support leaving him far short of the funds to attend his first semester this fall.
One of Seth’s teachers who recognized his strength and potential launched a GoFundMe campaign to help him cover the shortfall. Seth’s story and the campaign went viral exceeding all expectations by raising over $141,000.
Thanks to the LGBT media covering the story, Georgetown University took another look at Seth’s situation and granted him a full ride to the school.
This week Ellen DeGeneres welcomed Seth to her show to celebrate him and his amazing fortitude in the face of so many obstacles.
Chatting on the show, Seth gave credit to Ellen for his becoming co-valedictorian saying many late nights he would look up her videos for uplift and inspiration.
“There were so many times – so many times – that you really pulled me through,” said Seth. “I really do appreciate that.”
He also shared the story of how his dad invading his privacy led to ‘ex-gay therapy’ treatment.
"The dangerous part about that is that, as a patient, I believed this healthcare professional was doing what was best for me,” Seth explained. “I didn’t see any progress, so it’s very depressing.”
But after his incredible journey to college, Seth gushes about his first two weeks at Georgetown saying, “I love it – It’s amazing. I would not want to be anywhere else but Georgetown.”
The 18-year-old also mentioned that the school’s staff has been very supportive.
“As a Jesuit university, we have resident ministers on our floors, and she told me that she was here to support me,” said Seth. “As someone who’s been through something like this with religion, it meant the world to me to hear from a spiritual advisor to say they have my back.”
Asked about the amazing GoFundMe campaign, Seth explained that after college he’ll use leftover funds to establish a scholarship program for LGBTQ youth who find themselves in a similar situation heading to university.
Following that news, Ellen stunned Seth announcing that she and Cheerios would be donating $25,000 to help begin Seth’s scholarship program.
Watch the segment below.