Fourteen students at East Mecklenburg High School in North Carolina owed roughly 4,500 dollars. That debt needed to be paid before they received their diploma or walked across the graduation stage.

They were racing against time and had no place to go to settle the debts. That was until a Charlotte barbershop owner, inspired by what happened at Morehouse College a few weeks ago, decided to pay it forward and with the help of an NFL player, she was able to raise the money to pay their debt so they could walk across the stage with their classmates.

A North Carolina barber shop owner helped raise money to erase the debts of 14 high school seniors just in time for graduation.

Shop owner Season Bennett said she was inspired by billionaire investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith who made headlines for promising to pay off the debts of Morehouse College’s class of 2019. “I thought, ‘Wow, that is just such a powerful thing for anybody,’” Bennet shared. “So many students go into so much debt just trying to get an education.”

So she decided to help out her own community and contacted East Mecklenburg High School to inquire about seniors with debt that could keep them from graduating. Turns out over a dozen students collectively owed $4,500. As such, Bennett launched an GoFundMe to ensure the student would receive their diplomas. [V1011fm]

Bennett started up a GoFundMe to help raise more than $1,000 for the students. When a few donations started popping up, NFL Carolina Panthers player Thomas Davis took care of the rest. He donated $4,000 to help her pass her initial goal.

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This “good samaritan” gesture isn’t Bennett’s first time making a splash. She and her barbershop, Charlotte Barbers Care, hosted the sixth annual city-wide food drive last August, benefitting the Metrolina Second Harvest Food Bank, which originally started as a drive at Headlines Barber Shop.

To date, the organization says the drives have provided over 43,000 lbs of food for Charlotte families in need.

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