Putting Education Reform To The Test

Scholarships and Housing Follow ’60 Minutes’ Profile of Homeless Florida Students

60 Minutes

Austin and Arielle Metzger discuss living in a truck with '60 Minutes'' Scott Pelley.

Two Seminole County students living in a truck became the face of the Great Recession thanks to Sunday’s ’60 Minutes’ profile.

Stetson University put on its white hat and rode to their rescue Thursday.

The DeLand school offered Arielle, 15, and Austin Metzger, 13, full scholarships. School president Wendy Libby told the Orlando Sentinel the school community demanded to help after seeing Arielle in a Stetson t-shirt,

The scholarships are just part of what the Metzger family said has been an avalanche of support. Seminole County schools said they have also been overwhelmed with offers to support the district’s homeless students program.

Beth Davalos, who runs Seminole County schools’ program for homeless students, told the Sentinel about a sampling of the gifts:

Davalos said her office has received about 1,400 e-mails and nearly 1,000 phone calls this week, mostly from those who saw the show and want to help.

Some have offered to take in homeless families or let them live in rental properties or vacant spots on lush, sprawling farms as far away as New Hampshire, Texas and Wyoming.

People have offered to send food and clothing. Several wanted to give computers to Arielle. One group offered to post Austin’s artwork for sale around downtown Sanford.

Lots have offered money. An anonymous donor gave the Metzgers $10,000 and contributed another $50,000 to the school district’s homeless-student program.


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