Taylor Swift has donated £23,000 to help a London-based student achieve her dream of becoming a mathematician.
After winning a conditional offer to study Mathematics at the University of Warwick – which has since been confirmed – 18-year-old Vitoria Mario launched a GoFundMe page to raise the £40,000 that she estimates she'll need to complete her degree.
Though she lives in Tottenham, north London, she explains on the page that she is ineligible for government funding because she moved to the UK from Portugal four years ago. "My family are low income, and unable to help me self-fund through university," she adds
"Sadly, my father has passed away, and my mother remains in Portugal," Mario continues. "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.'"
Mario also writes on her fundraising page that she has "always been a studious person" and says that "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".
She studied for her GCSEs and A-Levels at Brampton Manor Academy, East Ham, a school she says has a proven track record in "helping young Black and minority ethnic students such as myself gain entry to top U.K. institutions".
After coming across Mario's page online, Swift donated the £23,373 that the future mathematician still needed to reach her £40,000 target.
"Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality," the singer wrote. "I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor."
On Instagram, Mario wrote that raising enough money to go to university is "a blessing out of the blue".
"I'm still processing everything tbh but I really just want to thank everyone (Taylor Swift in particular) for sharing, supporting and donating towards my campaign," she said. "Your girl is going to be a mathematician."