After he wrote a column for the Star Tribune about his experience as a Black teen in North Minneapolis, donations have flooded in to help pay for Marcus Hunter's college tuition.
Hunter's column, I live in a cemetery called North Minneapolis, has drawn attention as he describes life during the spike in crime that has affected the area during the COVID pandemic and in the wake of George Floyd's death during his arrest by police.
Hunter, whose father was shot and killed in North Minneapolis, expressed his own fears about the violence in his community, writing: "It feels like my death is already written on the sidewalks here, as if I have an hourglass above my head, monitoring the time left before my life is taken.
"It seems as if all hope is lost. If I remain living here, it may cost me my life."
It's the second time he had written a column for the newspaper, with an October column criticizing the "dehumanized" manner in which Black Americans are treated by police.
After his latest piece, a GoFundMe campaign created by Hunter's college coaching team has been launched, and already raised more than $20,000.
Hunter grew up in “poverty level” conditions, according to the GoFundMe. But despite not having money for things like books and sports, he wanted to become a writer and go to college.
“But none of that stopped Marcus, because he had a burning fire inside. A fire greater than his circumstances, and that was to become a writer, but not just any writer, a writer passionate about telling 'human stories' to help heal communities," the GoFundMe reads.
Hunter found out about De La Salle High School in Minneapolis through a community program. He failed his first entrance exam to the school, but after retaking it and seeing his score improve, he was accepted. Hunter is now an honor roll student at De La Salle.
Hunter's top choices for college are Howard University, the University of Arizona and the University of Houston. He hopes to study journalism and business this fall and eventually pursue an MBA.