When she graduates from Boston University, Alexis Felix will be the first person in her immediate family to receive a Bachelors degree and will leave her undergraduate career with a long list of accomplishments.
A sophomore studying public relations and sociology, Felix is a straight-A student who got a 3.78 GPA last semester while also tutoring elementary schoolers, holding a research position at a consulting company, and dancing as a member of BU’s Latin dance team. As she puts it:
I have worked exceptionally hard to make it here and I am proud to say that I am making the most of my college experience … I love my school and am doing well here academically, socially and emotionally. However, I am not doing well financially.
Felix was recently faced with a major issue — her family would not be able to afford to pay for her next semester at BU. After exhausting every possible solution and sitting through multiple face-to-face conversations with BU administrators informing her that she was “out of options,” Felix turned to what she called a “last resort.”
With only two months to find the money, Felix created a GoFundMe page in the hopes that some friends and family members would help her reach the $US5,000 she needed to stay at BU. “I thought it would take months, if at all,” she said.
27 hours after the page went live, Felix had recieved $US5,000 to continue her education, with contributions from friends, acquaintances, and even total strangers. The page had been shared close to 400 times on Facebook.
Felix immediately took to her GoFundMe page to thank everyone who had helped her, writing, “Today you all showed me that there is love in this world and that hard work is never in vain no matter how hopeless a situation seems … You all are incredible and I will pay every cent forward as I continue on the road to success.”
Donors were also able to voice their support on the GoFundMe page, writing messages like, “Inspired by your bravery in writing this. Good luck with school this year!” and “We all hope you can pursue your dreams!”
One particularly moving comment read, “We don’t know each other, but I was touched by your courage, tenacity, and perseverance. I can’t give much, but I hope it helps. Best of luck with everything in the future, and keep doing what you’re doing.”
Both on her page and in our conversation, the idea of a donation as an investment came up. Felix said that giving back is something incredibly important to her, and she hopes to be able to use her education to make sure her little sisters don’t have to worry about paying for college.
A huge amount of support came from her high school — Horace Mann — with donations coming from students, alumni, and even faculty.
I attended Horace Mann around the same time as Alexis — we overlapped for a year when I was a senior and she was a freshman — and both of us agreed that this was a welcome and refreshing story for a school community that has recently only seemed to receive bad news.
“When you’re in the whirlwind of a competitive school, you sometimes forget how great these people are,” Felix said. Many of the donations came from people she “passed in the hallway or said hi to a few times.”
One donor that stuck out to Felix who a Horace Mann alumnus from 1981 who gave $US250 to the tuition fund after the $US5,000 goal had already been reached.
Everyone who donated and helped Felix stay in school recieved a short email from her — but only to ask for an address where she can send a handwritten note.
“I really want to show how grateful I am,” she said. “The doors that people opened for me are the reason I am where I am.”
Felix said she didn’t expect people to donate past the $US5,000 goal, but the gifts have kept coming in. As of Wednesday, she had recieved over $US6,000 and plans to keep the site open as long as people keep giving — she knows she’ll need tuition money for next year.
Check out more of Alexis Felix’s story on her GoFundMe page >>
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