CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina barbershop owner has raised enough money to erase the debts of more than a dozen high school seniors who risked not graduating if they didn't pay them off.

WBTV reports Season Bennett learned 14 seniors at East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte wouldn't get their diplomas with the rest of their class if the overdue school fees weren't paid. So Bennett asked the community for help eliminating the $4,500 debt.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools prohibits students from graduating if the overdue fees go unpaid.

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Between donations from the public and help from former Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Bennett raised the money.

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Bennett said she was inspired by billionaire technology investor Robert F. Smith, who announced he'd pay off the student loans for graduating seniors at Morehouse College.

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