The students had racked up a combined $4,500 in debt – something Bennett was determined to amend. What was even more shocking was that several of the students were in debt to the school’s band program.
“I know some people were kind of thinking, ‘Oh, maybe there was damaged property,’ or these kinds of things,” Bennett told WBTV. “And I said, ‘These kids are doing something good, they’re on the band, they’re having school spirit.'”
The barbershop owner created a GoFundMe page and set the goal at $4,500. Then, she started posting about her mission on social media. She urged people to give anything they could and to spread the word to their friends. Fortunately, the right person saw one of Bennett’s posts: the daughter of an NFL player.
“Thomas Davis‘ daughter saw it, and she told her dad about it,” Bennett said. Davis once played on the Carolina Panthers and even got his haircut at Bennett’s Headlines Barbershop once, Bennett told CBS News.
“He said, ‘Hey … we’re going to make sure that these students graduate,'” Bennett said. The GoFundMe campaign had raised just over $1,700 and Davis was generous enough to donate the rest – and then some. He gave $4,000 to Bennett’s cause, she told CBS News.
All 14 seniors who were previously in debt could now graduate. Bennett was ecstatic and said one student’s reaction meant the world to her. “One girl dropped to her knees, and she just said, ‘I have to call my mom,'” Bennett said. “She said her mom was working on getting a loan.”
Bennett was determined to help the kids because she knows the importance of getting an education. “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,'” she said. Thanks to Bennett – and Davis – 14 students were able to take the first step on their staircase.