Five NAACP students will be leaving college debt-free, thanks to Pharell Williams.
The iconic record producer and philanthropist kicked off his Something In the Water Festival in Washington D.C. on Friday, June 17. Just hours before the musical event began, Williams surprised the student leaders with the groundbreaking news during a panel pertaining to the Black student debt crisis at the St. Regis hotel in D.C, ABC 7 News reports.
“For all of you on the stage, we are clearing your current student loan debt,” said a moderator during the event.
Debts Being Cleared Will Help Students Give Back To Their Communities
The announcement is timely as the students shared stories of the difficulties they faced with their living arrangements, post-grad finances, and choosing their majors, according to NAACP. Students also shared their debts being wiped will change their lives and support them as they continue to give back.
The recipients are as followed: Robyn Hughes, (Southern University junior), Damarius Davis (North Carolina AT alumni), Jamie Turner (Norfolk State University alumni), Channing Hill (Howard University senior), and Devan Vilfrard, (Florida A&M University senior).
“Pharrell forever changed their lives. This was a powerful moment. Now just imagine if President Biden made this a reality for all student debt holders in America,” Wisdom Cole, NAACP’s National Director of Youth and College who organized the panel said, according to ABC 7 News.
One Recipient Plans To Attend Law School
After the announcement, students were asked “What are you going to do now?” Turner then replied tearfully, “I’m going to law school.” Davis added he had to sustain three jobs his freshmen year to make it through schooling.
“I literally had to work three jobs my freshmen year just to survive everything. My parents were struggling so just to have this… I am so grateful right now. I appreciate y’all so much thank you,” Davis said.