Now a Georgetown University student who also works for Florida Representative Stephanie Murphy, Owen has launched a nonprofit to help other students from marginalized communities pursue higher education. The nonprofit is called the Unbroken Horizons Scholarship Foundation.
"After realizing that I would not have received the same support from the community if it weren't for my perceived race, I knew I needed to speak up and do something, thus Unbroken Horizons was born," Owen wrote in a post on his foundation's new GoFundMe page.
"It is Unbroken Horizons' goal to make it easier for students in all marginalized communities to access post-secondary education and highlight their stories to create awareness around issues within marginalized communities."
The foundation will focus on "providing students with scholarships to colleges, universities, vocational schools, and technical education schools," "emboldening students with a platform to share their unique stories, so that they may then effect change in their communities," and "linking students to resources for youth in the LGBTQ+ community to ensure they are healthy and prospering."
The nonprofit's GoFundMe page has already generated $27,360 of its $37,500 goal and looks well on track "to provide 5 students with a $2,500 scholarship so that they too can continue to reach their educational goals."
Owen made headlines last summer when a teacher created a GoFundMe page to help the 18-year-old afford tuition to Georgetown. Owen had applied to the university before being issued an ultimatum from his highly religious parents: continue with conversion therapy or be kicked out.
While Owen chose the latter option and still managed to walk as co-valedictorian during his high school graduation, he ran into a speed bump, as the tuition package he received from Georgetown assumed he would still be supported by his parents. While Georgetown eventually amended his aid package, the GoFundMe page ended up raising over $140,000.