On Season 3 of Netflix’s Queer Eye, 23-year-old Jess Guilbeaux recounted her struggle with being kicked out of her house for being gay. Now she’s getting a second chance thanks to the show’s big-hearted fans who helped raise over $95,000 to help her go back to school, according to Variety.
Guilbeaux appeared on the fifth episode of the third season of the show called “Black Girl Magic.” The fab five helped her discover her strength after she was kicked out at the age of 16 and has been on her own financially since then. She revealed on the show that she had been attending the University of Kansas as a computer science major, but she had to drop out after her debt climbed too high.
Vanessa Gamet started a GoFundMe campaign on March 16 with a goal of $100,000 to help Guilbeaux get back to her dreams of finishing college.
“Jess Guilbeaux, from Queer Eye Season 3, Episode 5, is a strong, black lesbian woman,” the campaign reads. “Let’s send this smart and strong woman back to college to complete what she began and give her the future she deserves.”
After just 23 days, over 2,500 people contributed $95,905 dollars toward the contestant’s college fund, just $4,095 short of its goal.
Fans have been pouring in money and supportive messages for Guilbeaux.
“You are an amazing individual Jess! I’m sorry it’s been a tough journey for you but your resilience, determination & courage to be the person you are is inspirational. Wishing you all the very best & your family are the people you choose,” said one donator.
When Guilbeaux found out about the campaign, she wrote on Twitter that she was touched by the gesture.
“[T]his is so sweet. i have no words. i’m dehydrated at this point,” she said.
She also said on the GoFundMe page that she would now be able to pay off all of her student debt thanks to the generous donations, which came from nearly every state in the country as well as over 25 countries and territories around the world.
“I’m so excited and ready to continue my education with a fresh new star,” she wrote.
During the show, Guilbeaux forged a relationship with her long-lost sister and experimented with breaking out of her shell.
Since appearing on the show, the contestant has been doing drag shows and embracing her dark skin, natural curls, and her uniqueness. She told Them magazine that she speaks with her sister every day now and that she has also started the process of tracing her ancestry.