‘I am so inspired by your drive and dedication’: Taylor Swift donates £23,000 to Tottenham teenager who set up a GoFundMe so she could attend university
Taylor Swift has donated over £23,000 to a Tottenham teenager who started a GoFundMe appeal to become a mathematician.
The singer, 30, made the generous donation to Vitoria Mario who described herself as a ‘black 18-year-old with a dream’.
The teen explained that despite being offered an unconditional place at the University of Warwick to study mathematics, she could not afford to take it up.
Gift: Taylor Swift, 30, has donated over £23,000 to a Tottenham teenager who started a GoFundMe appeal to become a mathematician (pictured in December 2019)
Taylor came across Vitoria’s GoFundMe appeal and decided to gift her with the rest of the tuition she would need for her studies.
Leaving a message, the star said: ‘Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality.
‘I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor.’
In response, Vitoria said: ‘My mind has been blown. I was wondering how to reach enough people to hit my goal and now this miracle has happened.
Donation: The singer made the generous donation to Vitoria Mario who described herself as a ‘black 18-year-old with a dream’
‘I’m just over the moon. I got 1A and 2A*s in my exam results recently and this is just a huge cherry on the cake!’
Vitoria outlined why she had set up the GoFundMe in a statement, with her goal being set at £40,000.
She wrote: ‘My name is Vitoria Mario, and I am a young Black 18 year old with a dream.
‘I have received a conditional offer to study Mathematics (MMath) at the prestigious University of Warwick. I have already attained AABB at AS Level and I have recently achieved A*A*A in my A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics, respectively.
Taylor wrote: ‘Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality’
‘However, I am still in a position of uncertainty as I may not be able to attend university due to my circumstances. I have lived in the U.K. for 4 years now, after migrating from Portugal to live with family in Tottenham.
‘The socio-economic barriers of not being eligible for maintenance loans/grants is due not only to not having ‘Home’ status, but also because my family are low income, and unable to help me self-fund through university.
‘Sadly, my father has passed away, and my mother remains in Portugal. 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”.
‘In spite of this, I have always been a studious person, and after coming to the U.K. in 2016, unable to utter a word in English, I achieved 100% A*-As in all my GCSEs in 2018, getting a grade 9 and 8 in Maths and English respectively. I am currently a student at Brampton Manor Academy, notorious for their work in helping young Black and minority ethnic students such as myself gain entry to top U.K. institutions.
Seeking help: The teen explained that despite being offered an unconditional place at the University of Warwick to study mathematics, she could not afford to take it up
‘Only 35% of STEM students are female, and as of 2018, they make up just 26% of STEM graduates. In addition to the gender imbalance, there is further under-representation of BAME women, particularly Black women, who are in shortage within the field and academic institutions.
‘Why didn’t I do this earlier, you may ask?
‘I emailed numerous (442 to be exact) people from top firms to see if they were able to assist me or point me in the right direction, but was rejected or left without response. As desperate times called for desperate measures, I also went to some of the most affluent postcodes in London, including Kensington, to post my story through letterboxes, but unfortunately faced the same response.
Statement: Vitoria outlined why she had set up the GoFundMe in a statement, with her goal being set at £40,000
‘Though my story is not unique, my dream of becoming a Mathematician is not only a chance at social mobility for my family and I, but to inspire people who have been in similar positions to aspire to be the best version of themselves and strive for their dreams despite gender/racial inequality, immigration issues and financial barriers.
‘Financial Breakdown (estimate for 4 year course). Accommodation – £24,000. Equipment (e.g. Laptop, textbooks ) – £3,000. Living costs (e.g. food, transport, gas, electricity etc.) – £13, 000
‘I am grateful for any assistance with my journey and appreciate the time taken to engage with my story.’
It comes after Taylor hit the headlines last month when she shocked fans by releasing her eighth album folklore by surprise, sending it straight to number one.
Thrilled: Vitoria said of Taylor’s donation: ‘I was wondering how to reach enough people to hit my goal and now this miracle has happened’ (pictured in February 2020)
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