The college student loan debt crisis is a serious issue America has been faced with for decades. Americans owe over $1.64 trillion in student loan debt as we’re burdened with the cost of higher education more than ever in 2020. While politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have made proposals for free college tuition and forgiveness for the current student loan debt, others are making their own strides to eliminate debt for current college students.
Clark Atlanta University alum and female entrepreneurs, Pinky Cole and Stacey Lee have made an effort to put a dent in the student loan debt crisis by helping clear balances for 30 fellow CAU college students.
The 30 Clark Atlanta University seniors were surprised with a special gift from these businesswomen as they were originally led to believe they were simply meeting the two alumni. Little did they know these dynamic entrepreneurs were going to give them a clean slate after college by completely wiping their debt.
“We know everybody’s journey at CAU is a lot different. But when you get here, the one thing we have in common is we all want to graduate,” Pinky Cole — founder and owner of The Slutty Vegan in Atlanta — said in a video filmed for USA Today. “With the help of Dr. French, we found out that many of you, all of you here, have a balance to clear in order for you to be able to graduate. So what we did is we came together to clear those balances for you.”
Harlem Hops’ owner, Stacey Lee also expressed how her love for Clark Atlanta led them to perform the good deed.
“So now you’ll be able to graduate, we cleared those balances for you. It’s something that we wanted to do. We love Clark Atlanta and we wanted to make sure that you guys would be able to walk and not have to worry,” Lee said.
After their announcement, the two businesswomen and the students became emotional over the news.
“So be proud of yourselves and make it a great year. I’m so proud of y’all. When you graduate make us proud and pay it forward,” Lee said.
Actions like this from HBCU graduates are what we should see at other universities across the board. College students are swimming in debt before they can even use their degrees, but alumni giving back to their communities like this are how we can make a difference in the student loan debt crisis.
Check out the video below: