Taylor Swift is helping a teenager in the U.K. achieve her university dreams by donating more than $39,000 CAD (£22,700) to cover her tuition fees.
Vitoria Mario, who had moved to London from Portugal as a young teen, had set up a GoFundMe page online to solicit donations after learning she wasn’t eligible for a student loan or grant to help pay for her mathematics course at the University of Warwick.
She described herself as “a young Black 18 year old with a dream” who had found herself “in a position of uncertainty” as she explained why she was trying to raise around $69,000 CAD (£40,000).
“Sadly, my father has passed away, and my mother remains in Portugal,” she continued on the campaign page. “Moving away from her was a challenge but it was a sacrifice worth being made, in my family’s eyes. ‘If you can get a university education in the UK, you will be set apart for life.’”
Mario had only managed to raise less than a third of her donation goal by Thursday, August 20, when Swift, who is known for her charitable fan endeavours, suddenly stepped up and opened her cheque book.
“Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality,” the “Shake It Off” hitmaker wrote.
“I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor.”
A friend of Mario’s had shared the news via Twitter, writing, “So @taylorswift13 donated £23K to my friend who needed funding for university and she’s met her target?! THANKYOU JESUSSSSSS!!!!! GOD IS SO GOOD (sic)!!!!!!”
After receiving the contribution from Swift, Mario spoke with the BBC and said, “I was worrying too much about the money, what I have to do and if I have to look for a job. She actually made my dream come true.”
Swift has previously donated to a number of fans whose stories she has encountered online. NME reported in late March that the singer gave $3,000 each to New York photographer Holly Turner, who asked for financial support during the coronavirus crisis on Tumblr, as well as a fan named Bernie and another named India.