A Tennessee teen who says she is dating a Clemson University soccer player started a fundraiser after her parents allegedly disapproved of her interracial relationship.
Allie Dowdle, 18, of Memphis started a GoFundMe account, saying she is an 18-year-old high school senior with a 4.0 GPA, and her parents are “leaving me on my own to pay for college.”
“My education has always been extremely important to me, which is why I am willing to share my story,” Dowdle’s GoFundMe stated. “... How could my love for another person be wrong because of his skin color? And why would that make me unworthy of a future I’ve worked so hard for?”
Dowdle said she told her parents about a year ago that she was dating a man named Michael. The Daily Mail identified her boyfriend as Michael Swift, who is listed as a freshman from Memphis on Clemson’s soccer team roster.
Dowdle said when she showed her father a picture of Swift, he told her she was not allowed to see him again. She said her parents yelled at her and said they were disappointed in her.
“Why? Strictly because of skin color,” the GoFundMe page said.
Dowdle’s father, Bill Dowdle, told the NY Daily News that her dating a black man was not his “preference” because of issues with biracial dating in the South. He also said “it was never about race” but rather that his daughter started dating him in secret.
Allie Dowdle said she and Swift saw each other discretely for a year, but that they both approached her parents about a month ago.
When the young couple did, Allie Dowdle said her parents stripped her of her savings account, car, phone and education, meaning she would have to pay for college on her own. She also said she has tried to find a job to raise money, thought it has been difficult without consistent transportation.
She said she had received some scholarship money but needed at least $10,000 to cover tuition for her first year of college next year.
As of Friday morning, her GoFundMe posting had raised about $13,600.
She did not state where she intended to attend college.
Allie Dowdle said though it hurts her to have to ask for money, she has no other options.
“I can assure you that I am doing everything in my power to create a future for myself, but it has come to the point where I must ask for help,” she said.
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