Taylor Swift has donated £23,000 to a teenager based in Tottenham who set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to take up a maths degree at the University of Warwick.
Vitoria Mario was offered an unconditional place at Warwick University but doubted she would ever get to go due to financial barriers that stood in her way. The 18 year old aspiring Mathematician explained that she was not eligible for maintenance loans or grants due to her migrating from Portugal to the UK 4 years ago. In hopes she could change her fate she set up a page on fundraising site GofundMe with the initial goal of raising £40,000, and to her surprise American Singer and global pop sensation Taylor Swift stepped in to give a helping hand.
Swift shared a message on Vitoria's fundraising page, confirming her donation and providing words of encouragement. She wrote "Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turn your dreams into reality. I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor."
At the point of Taylors donation Vitoria had already raised almost half of her target amount and her total now stands at more than £42,000. Vitoria expressed that at first she couldn't quite believe it and that her mind has been blown. She said "I was wondering how to reach enough people to hit my goal and now this miracle has happened. I'm just over the moon. I got an A and two A stars in my exam results recently and this is just a huge cherry on the cake.”
Vitoria has also since spoken about how she wants to encourage more girls to study science and technology subjects, as she's more than aware that Women are rare within the sector, saying "I feel like girls should be more encouraged to study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and maths) because I feel like sometimes we are just driven away by fear, and we shouldn't." She also added that "as a Black Female, this is the career I'm passionate about. I don't believe in impossibilities, literally I don't believe it at all" and how "financial obstacles get in the way, but money shouldn't be the thing stopping you from achieving your dreams."