By Morgan Greenwald, In The Know
"I have received a conditional offer to study Mathematics at the prestigious University of Warwick," 18-year-old Vitoria Mario explained on her GoFundMe page. "However, I am still in a position of uncertainty as I may not be able to attend university due to my circumstances."
Since Mario emigrated from Portugal four years ago, she is not eligible for maintenance loans or grants. Her family is also low-income, rendering them unable to help her pay for university.
"I am grateful for any assistance with my journey and appreciate the time taken to engage with my story," she added.
With a goal of £40,000 (a little over $52,000), Mario hoped to be able to cover accommodations, equipment and living costs.
For the first few weeks the campaign was live, Mario was very, very slowly inching her way toward her goal. After 20 or so days, she had only gotten halfway there.
However, on Thursday, August 20, something amazing happened. When Mario logged on that day, she was greeted by a £23,373 (more than $30,000) donation from Taylor Swift - the Taylor Swift.
"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."
Of course, Mario was taken aback by the large donation - not just because it gave her all the money she needed for university, but because it came from TAYLOR SWIFT.
Of course I have to thank @taylorswift13 for donating more than £23k towards my campaign I wouldn't have reached my target so quickly if it wasn't for you May God bless you abundantly- Vitoria (@vitoriamariox) August 20, 2020
"Of course I have to thank Taylor Swift for donating more than £23K towards my campaign," Mario tweeted. "I wouldn't have reached my target so quickly if it wasn't for you. May God bless you abundantly."
Speaking with the GoFundMe team, Mario expressed her shock and gratitude, noting that Swift's donation was a "miracle."
"My mind has been blown. I was wondering how to reach enough people to hit my goal and now this miracle has happened," she said. "I'm just over the moon. I got 1A and 2A*s in my exam results recently and this is just a huge cherry on the cake!"