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Serial fans on Reddit have set up a Hae Min Lee memorial scholarship fund

Lauren Katz is a project manager at Vox, focusing on newsroom-wide editorial initiatives as well as podcast engagement strategy.


Listeners of the podcast Serial and members of the /r/serialpodcast subreddit have established a scholarship fund in honor of 18-year-old Hae Min Lee who was killed in 1999. The money from the fund will be distributed to help Woodlawn High School students to help further their education.

"The goal is to create a venue for those who wish to give back to the community from which the Serial story rises," according to the fund's page on, a website that provides the framework for people to fundraise under a 501c3 company.

Serial, an incredibly popular podcast from the creators of This American Life, focuses on the true story of the murder of Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland.

The fund's administrators recently renamed the fund from the "Hae Min Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund" to the "Woodlawn High School Scholarship Fund." Some of the 29,000 subscribers to the Serial reddit community felt that it was inappropriate to name the fund after Lee without her family's consent. The restructuring does not affect how the scholarship money will be used, says Ashley Galleher, executive director of CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation.

The goal is to raise at least $25,000 to donate to Woodlawn High School for the scholarship. The drive for donations will last for at least 30 days, at which point the fund's administrators will reevaluate if they want to keep it open for an additional 30 days.

"At the end of 30 days or 60 days, the administrators will send a distribution request to us, we'll turn the money over to the school and a committee will decide which students will receive the scholarship," Galleher said. "The one time payout will be in honor and in memory of Hae Min Lee."

The fund has raised $1,843.57 to date with donations continuing to come in.

Serial releases its 12th and final episode of season 1 on Thursday.

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