Taylor Swift has donated £23,000 to an 18-year-old’s GoFundMe page, allowing her to take up her place to study mathematics at Warwick.
18-year-old Vitoria Mario was not eligible for a student loan, after she moved to the UK from Portugal four years ago.
On the GoFundMe page, Vitoria explained: “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.”
Vitoria described herself as “studious” and said she was unable to speak English when she arrived in the UK in 2016.
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
– Vitoria Mario
She continued: “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.”
Taylor Swift has not confirmed that she made the donation, but a message on the fundraising page 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.”
Vitoria told the BBC: “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.”
In a tweet, Vitoria said: “I still can’t believe it, I just feel so grateful. Thank you to the rest of my donors and supporters who also allowed my dream to come true.”
Vitoria said she would spend the money on accommodation (£24,000), equipment (£3,000) and living costs (£13,000).
The University of Warwick tweeted: “Well done Vitoria! We are looking forward to welcoming you to Warwick.”