After a billionaire commencement speaker announced that he would be paying off the student debt of an entire class of college graduates, this barbershop was inspired to do something similar.
Season Bennett and her husband are the owners of Headlines Barbershop in Charlotte, North Carolina – and they were particularly moved by the viral video of the commencement speech surprise.
“I thought, ‘Wow, that is just such a powerful thing for anybody,’” Bennett told WBTV. “So many students go into so much debt just trying to get an education.”
Spurred to take action in her own community, Season called the nearby East Mecklenburg High School and asked if there were any students experiencing financial difficulties.
To her shock, she learned that there were 14 high school seniors who had collectively accumulated about $4,500 worth of debt. Some of the students simply had outstanding lunch debt; others owed money to the school’s band department.
Furthermore, the school had a strict policy that any student with outstanding debt would be unable to graduate, receive their diplomas, or participate in the commencement ceremony.
Bennett immediately created a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the student debt before their graduation deadline and broadcasted her rallying call for donations on social media.
Thankfully, Bennett’s post was seen by none other than the daughter of NFL player Thomas Davis.
Touched by the stylist’s call to action, Davis offered to pay every cent of the debt – and the high school students were overwhelmed with gratitude.
“One girl dropped to her knees and she just said ‘I have to call my mom,” recalled Bennett, saying that the girl’s mother had apparently been working on getting a loan in order to cover the debt.
Bennett says that she will now be donating the remainder of the GoFundMe contributions to the high school’s anti-suicide program.
(WATCH the video below) – Photo by Headlines Salon
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