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Gay activist teen returns to Jacksonville to award scholarship recipients

"It's my job," Seth Owen says about helping other marginalized students

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If you don’t recognize Seth Owen's name, then you probably know his story.

The Jacksonville teenager and high school valedictorian was kicked out of his house for being gay, that's when his teachers stepped up to help.

After First Coast News reported his story last July, it went viral. Seth went on to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres show, won a full scholarship to Georgetown University and got a job as a congressional intern.

READ >> OUT: Toxic home life forces gay Jacksonville teen to move, risk college scholarship 

He also founded a nonprofit, called Unbroken Horizons, to help other LGBT scholars.

Seth returned to Jacksonville recently, awarding five scholarships to LGBTQ scholars, as part of a gala event featuring YouTube star and Ellen show regular, Kalen Allen.

Both said having the event in Seth’s hometown is as important as the cause itself.

"What makes this so special is the fact that we're here in Jacksonville, " Allen said. "I think a lot of times when we face adversity and oppression, people experience those things because of the lack of education and the lack of awareness, and not being able to have those type of people in their communities -- out front and proud."

"It’s important to be visible and to be unashamed about the struggles that we have to face," Seth said. "There are so many students at home who can’t speak about it. Because I've been given a platform, it’s my job to share and educate others."

Scholarship donation information can be found at the Unbroken Horizons website. Large donors are asked to contact the group's leadership to avoid large processing fees. 


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