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Fans of the Netflix hit Queer Eye have raised money to pay off the student loan debt of a woman featured on the show so that she can return to college and complete her degree.
Jess Guilbeaux, 23, who appeared on Queer Eye’s latest season, told the Fab Five that she had been disowned by her adoptive parents after she came out as a lesbian. It forced her to live on her own at age 16, according to a recent interview with Them. She later had to drop her courses at the University of Kansas, where she was studying computer science, due to student loans that she was unable to pay.
Moved by her story, a woman named Vanessa Gamet started a fundraiser on GoFundMe last month to help Guilbeaux pay back her loans. “Let’s send this smart and strong woman back to college to complete what she began and give her the future she deserves,” the description read. “While I do not personally know Jess, I felt compelled to initiate this campaign and have handed over ownership of this account to her. The funds go directly to her.” (Neither Guilbeaux or Gamet immediately responded to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.)
An update on the GoFundMe page from Saturday read that Guilbeaux has paid off her loans. As of Tuesday morning, $94,272 of the intended $100,000 had been raised—it took only 23 days. “I’m so excited and ready to continue my education with a fresh new start. Thank you so so so much for everything!” Guilbeaux wrote.
In her interview with Them, Guilbeaux said she is “going to continue putting myself outside my comfort zone and challenging myself. And I’m going to pursue some of the dreams that I thought would be on hold forever.”
Looks like she’s on track to do so.
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Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque