Fourth Grader Bullied Over Homemade Volunteers T-Shirt Receives Scholarship to UT

A fourth grader who was picked on for his homemade shirt will have the option to go to college for free.


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The University of Tennessee offered a four-year scholarship to a Florida fourth grader who was bullied for wearing a homemade Volunteers shirt to school. 

The unnamed fourth grader's story went viral after a teacher shared it on Facebook. In the post, Laura Snyder explained that the elementary school held a College Colors Day where students could wear clothes that showed support of their favorite teams. Because he did not own any Volunteers gear, he pinned a hand-drawn UT logo to an orange shirt. He wore the shirt until some girls at lunch poked fun at his design.  

I was touched to learn of a young Florida school student’s heart for the University of Tennessee, and I LOVED his imagination behind designing his own shirt.  So many of us admire his love for UT and it’s awesome to see everyone step up to send him some UT gear!#EverywhereUT

— UT System President Randy Boyd (@UT_President) September 5, 2019

"Some girls at the lunch table next to his (who didn't even participate in college colors day) had made fun of his sign that he had attached to his shirt," Laura Snyder wrote. "He was DEVASTATED."

The University of Tennessee picked up on the design and turned it into an official shirt. They plan to donate the proceeds to anti-bullying charities and have already sold tens of thousands of the shirts by their own count. To show their gratitude to the young fan, they offered him a full scholarship. 

Vol Nation, you united around a #FutureVol who created his own UT shirt. And now we are thrilled to offer him a spot in the Class of 2032 and a four-year scholarship.🍊🎓

— UT Knoxville (@UTKnoxville) September 12, 2019

"Alumni, fans, and honorary Volunteers have stepped up in response to this story. So far, more than 50,000 shirts featuring the boy's design have been pre-sold by the VolShop. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go directly to the charity Stomp Out Bullying," UT shared in a press release.  "The university will cover the cost of the scholarship separately."

The student was also sent a care package full of proper UT gear so that he can fly colors of his distant-future alma mater.

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