Taylor Swift helped one fan reach their goal this month, donating just over $30,000 to 18-year-old Vitoria Mario's GoFundMe page. Mario, "a young Black 18 year old with a dream," moved to the United Kingdom from Portugal in 2016 and is now living in London. Her goal is to become a mathematician, and though she was accepted at the University of Warwick in England to study math, she was deemed ineligible for loans or grants to pay her tuition because she does not have "Home" status in the UK.
After emailing "top firms" for assistance only to be rejected Mario put letters explaining her situation into mailboxes in London's affluent neighborhoods "but unfortunately faced the same response." So she started a GoFundMe to attempt to raise that £40,000 ($53,000) she needed, and was around halfway to her goal when Swift donated $30,700 to get her there.
"I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality," the singer wrote on Mario's page. "I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor." Mario has now exceeded her goal and is still receiving donations on the page as of Friday morning. "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," she shared on the page, "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."
In an update on Aug. 14, Mario wrote that her place at Warwick has been confirmed, adding, "I would also like to thank everyone who has donated, shared or supported my campaign." The teen told BBC Radio London that while she was already a Swift fan prior to the star's donation and is now a fan "for the rest of my life." She said: "I don't know how [Swift] saw it. If it was someone from the UK I would be less surprised. [...] I want to thank her with all my heart."
Along with her donation to Mario, Swift also surprised a number of indie record stores with signed copies of her latest album, Folklore, this week, continuing her efforts to help small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.