On her GoFundMe, 18-year-old Vitoria Mario described herself as a “black girl with a dream”, and explained that despite being offered an unconditional place at Warwick to study mathematics, she was unable to afford to take up on it.
“I have lived in the UK for four years now, after migrating from Portugal to live with family in Tottenham,” Mario wrote.
“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.”
Mario added that despite arriving in the UK in 2016 unable to speak English, she had achieved “100% A*-As” in her GCSEs, along with “AABB at AS Level”, and “A*A*A in [her] A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics”.
Swift, who recently released an album written and produced during lockdown, wrote in a comment on Mario’s GoFundMe that she would be donating the remainder of money needed for Mario to hit her goal of £40,000.
“Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality,” Swift wrote. “I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love Taylor.”
Mario said she would spend the money on accommodation (£24,000), equipment including a laptop and textbooks (£3,000) and living costs including food and bills (£13,000).
While Mario has yet to comment on Swift’s donation, a Twitter user claiming to be Mario’s friend tweeted: “So @taylorswift13 donated £23K to my friend who needed funding for university and she’s met her target?! THANKYOU JESUSSSSSS!!!!! GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!!!”
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