Dellarontay Readus spent his high school years working to make his mother proud. He earned a GPA of over 4.0 at Melrose High School in Memphis, Tenn., and was the valedictorian of his graduating class. In April The Root reported on Readus' acceptance to all eight Ivy league schools.
Just one month before Readus was to attend Stanford University on a full scholarship, the 18-year-old lost his mother, who battled heart and stomach issues for years, according to WREG.
"It's just that it hurts so much, I can't do anything else but cry," Readus told the news station. "It feels terrible, man, because my mama was honestly my reason for everything I've ever done."
Two days ago, Readus' older brother Eugene Hampton created a GoFundMe page just to get enough money to bury their mother. The family only asked for $2,000.
"The total cost is around 5k," he wrote on the site page. "However, we can raise the rest on our own if we can get help with this amount."
Readus told the news site that he is willing to use some money he saved up for college to help offset the funeral cost.
"Basically, it all comes down to the fact that we're poor, and we don't have anything," Readus told the news site. "We didn't have anything our whole lives, and we still don't have anything right now."
In two days, since the crowdfunding page went live, the family has raised over $25,000. The family has vowed to use the extra money for a headstone and want to include the phrase "loved and supported by many" as a nod to all those who contributed.
"I was planning on taking care of my mama. I was planning on getting an education, taking care of her, making sure she's straight," Readus told the news site.
Readus added through his tears: "I hope she's looking down on me, and she's able to see everything I'm doing. I hope she's able to see all the good work I'm going to put in this world."
Read more at WREG.