Barber Raised Money To Pay Debts So 14 High School Students Could Graduate

Written by Ann Brown

A North Carolina barbershop owner was so inspired by billionaire Robert F. Smith’s pledge to pay off the debts of the 400 students graduating from Morehouse College amounting to about $40 million, that she wanted to do something to help students in her area.

When Season Bennett, owner of Charlotte’s Headlines Barbershop, learned 14 high school seniors may not graduate, she decided to raise money to pay off their school debts.

“I thought, ‘Wow, that is just such a powerful thing for anybody,’” Bennett told local outlet WBTV, referring to Smith’s generous grant. “So many students go into so much debt just trying to get an education.”

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Bennett “contacted East Mecklenburg High School and inquired about the debts of any seniors that could keep them from graduating. That’s when she found out 14 students owed money to the school and were not going to receive their diploma until it was paid in full, in accordance with the district’s policy,” People Magazine reported.

“We were told that there are 14 seniors at East Mecklenburg High School who can’t walk at graduation or receive their diploma because they owe money,” Bennett said.

She added: “We don’t know these students and may never have a chance to meet them, but we know that everyone should be entitled to the high school diploma that they earned.”

Bennett started a GoFundMe. The daughter of Carolina Panthers player Thomas Davis came across the fundraising campaign. “He said, ‘You know what, whatever need you have left over, we’re going to make sure these students graduate,’ ” Bennett recalled.

“Thomas donated $4,000, which helped Bennett surpass the goal she needed to help the students pay off their debts,” People Magazine reported. In all, the page raised $4,500. The left over donations will be go to an anti-suicide program, Bennett wrote on the donation page.