Nineteen-year-old Kyare Turner was just about to start his sophomore year at Morehouse College when he found out that one of his parent's PLUS loans he was relying on fell through.
Turner had been named the most outstanding student in his engineering program after his first year at the Atlanta-based private college. His goal is to become an electrical engineer. But without the additional loan to cover costs, he would have had to withdraw.
"I called everyone to tell them my situation," Turner said. That included the executive director at Reach Incorporated, an after-school program in Washington that hires high school students to be elementary school reading tutors. Turner had worked for three years as a tutor for second- and third-grade students.
"People wanted to help but weren't sure how," said Reach's director, Mark Hecker. "That's when I set up the GoFundMe campaign. I was looking for the easiest way to provide an avenue to help."
The goal was to cover the first semester's $12,360 tuition (the cost per semester at Morehouse is below the national average of $16,202). In about a day, the online campaign raised close to $15,000, mostly through gifts of about $100, on average, from members of Turner's D.C.-area community, including his former teachers at Eastern Senior High School.