Jamie Turner was one of five NAACP leaders who recently had their student loan debt cleared by Pharrell Williams.
As AfroTech previously told you, Williams surprised the recipients during a panel about the Black student debt crisis at his Something In the Water Festival back in June 2022.
The kind gesture proved to be life-changing as the student leaders were facing hardships with their living arrangements and post-grad finances, among others.
— NAACP (@NAACP) June 17, 2022
This was especially the case for Jamie Turner.
In an interview with Business Insider, Turner said $27,000 in student loan debt had been paid off. This came just two years after she graduated from Norfolk State University. Turner knew she was not in a position to pay off her monthly payments which were around $270 a month.
“It was just unexpected. I couldn’t really breathe,” Turner told Business Insider. “I was just crying so much because I was like, ‘There’s no way this is happening. I was wondering how I was really going to pay off my loans because my payments were looking at roughly $270 a month. And I was just like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to be able to afford all those expenses.”
Turner is all smiles now and she will be using her coins to save for an apartment, and focus on paying down outstanding debt, including her car.
“It’s about 35 percent paid off,” Turner said about her car, according to Business Insider. “I was able to pay down my credit cards, and I’m able to have a decent amount of savings in my bank account as well.”
Turner does not take this moment for granted, and she recognizes her story would not have been the same without William’s contribution.
“I would have to stay at home with my parents because there’s just no possible way with the current inflation and the lack of rising wages that I’d be able to pay off debt, live alone, and afford other living expenses,” Turner said, according to Business Insider.