NC Barbershop Owner Raises Money to Pay off Seniors' Debt so They Can Graduate
This story is that of a random act of kindness that's sure to bring tears to your face. Season Bennett, a barbershop (Charlotte’s Headlines) owner not only brought smiles to the faces of 14 families, but she also showed the world we could rise by lifting others.
Bennett was just a woman in a community who decided to pay it forward by making a difference no matter how little. What the barbershop owner didn't know was that there was nothing "little" about what she did.
Could’ve been in a cubicle, but nope, I was in NYC living my dream. .— Season Bennett (@TheSocialBarber) May 14, 2019
If you look closely, you can see how red my eyes are from having traveled since 4:00am to get to the #ibssocialsummit. If you look harder you will see how grateful I am to have all of these opportunities.#TB pic.twitter.com/Ck6NZz8G6y
After listening to what she deemed an inspirational talk from the billionaire, Robert F. Smith, who was the keynote speaker at Morehouse’s graduation, she was inspired to do something. Smith, during his speech at Morehouse, pledged to pay off the debts of the entire senior class.
“I thought, ‘Wow, that is just such a powerful thing for anybody. So many students go into so much debt just trying to get an education.”
After seeing this, Bennett called the front office of East Mecklenburg High School in a bid to find out if any of their seniors will be laid back and unable to graduate because of outstanding bills.
Voila! She got a reply that 14 students are owing a total of $4,500 – most of which was due to a band program – and will not be allowed to graduate with their peers.
Bennett told "WBTV" that she felt it was necessary for the students to have at least their high school diploma because in her culture, it's a "basic" thing to have.
"One girl dropped to her knees..."— Amanda Foster WBTV (@AFosterWBTV) May 28, 2019
14 East Mecklenburg High School seniors were in danger of not graduating, because of fees owed to the school.
So, a local business owner raised funds to pay off that debt. At 11 on @WBTV_News. pic.twitter.com/Py5Jn1F5Kg
Not knowing what the money was for, the barbershop owner decided to solicit for the funds and help the students out by making their dreams come true. Bennett said:
"I just think about that quote by Martin Luther King when he says you don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just have to take the first step,”
So Bennett went ahead to ask for help from the community, and she ended up raising the money thanks to Carolina Panthers linebacker, Thomas Davis's daughter who heard about the great cause and informed her father.
One student, – a girl – upon hearing the news was so emotional that she dropped to her knees before stating that she needs to call her mum who was on the verge of getting a loan.
Although no name was revealed, Bennett shared one of the students' messages to her. The anonymous student wrote:
“Words cannot express how thankful I am of you all. I no longer have to worry and stress about graduating,”
Words truly can't express what an incredible thing she did, and because of her, 14 students have no doubt that they will be walking the graduation stage with their friends.