High School Senior Panhandles to Raise Money for College Tuition

Emily Stutz(LOWELL, Mass.) -- A high school senior, struggling to pay for college, panhandled on the streets of Lowell, Massachusetts, to raise money.

Emily Stutz had applied for every scholarship offered through her high school, worked two jobs and maintained a 4.0 throughout high school. But it still wasn’t enough to fund her college education.

“It became apparent to me that it was going to be difficult to fund my education when I got my financial aid letters,” Stutz, an 18-year-old senior at Lowell High School, told ABC News today. “I kind of prepared myself for the worst, but when I got my letters it was rough.”

With the deadline to commit to a school coming up in less than a month, Stutz joked with her family that she would stand in the street and ask for the $20,000 to $30,000 a year she needed for her education.

But after more thought, she decided that might not be such a bad idea after all.

So on Friday, Stutz made a sign that read “H.S. SENIOR NO $ for College Anything Helps” and stood outside the exit of the Target plaza in Lowell for three hours.

“I had a lot of people come up to me and give me an overwhelming amount of support,” she said. “Some people made negative comments and told me to get a job, but the good outweighed the bad so much that it didn’t even matter.”

Stutz also stood outside on Saturday for another three hours. She raised more than $600 over the two days spent outside, as well as another $16,000 from a GoFundMe page she created last Thursday.

“I can’t believe how quickly this has picked up,” she said. “I received support from all over the country. They believe in me so much and I can’t thank them enough for that.”

Stutz will not continue panhandling, as "there are people that need that money even more than me," she said.

But Stutz is happy she could bring attention to a situation students all over the country are facing. Luckily for Stutz, the money donated has made it “easier to make my decision,” she said.

Stutz is still not sure where she will be attending school, but she plans on pursuing a pre-med path, majoring in psychology to become a psychiatrist.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.