When the provincial government announced severe cuts to the Ontario Student Assistance Program earlier this year, Ayesha Khurram was at a loss of how to pay her tuition and rent for the upcoming semester, reported CBC News.
Khurram is entering second year in the accounting and financial management program at the University of Waterloo. As the daughter of two immigrant parents working low-wage jobs in Mississauga and with her mom also struggling from a chronic kidney disease, Khurram could not turn to her family for financial help.
When she posted about her struggles online, one of her friends suggested creating a PayPal account in the event people wanted to help her out and donate money.
“When I posted, I was just like venting. It’s hard to pay off tuition. It’s really expensive,” Khurram said.
“One of my friends online was like, ‘You should drop your PayPal so we can help you out,’ and I was like, ‘That’s not a bad idea, I should totally do that.’ And then I did. And next thing I know, I literally have no more problems anymore.”
She created the account. A couple of hours later, she received an email notifying her that singer-songwriter Taylor Swift had sent her $6,386.47 to pay for her tuition. “Ayesha, get your learn on girl!” the message read. “I love you! Taylor.”
When Khurram saw the message on her phone, she freaked out. She had just finished baking Taylor Swift’s chai cookie recipe and Swift had been liking her social media posts about them.
“My parents actually cried when I told them the Taylor news because they couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It’s like a guardian angel is watching or something.”
“It’s more than what I asked for. She is just so generous. I literally cried myself to sleep last night. This is the kind of thing you don’t expect. You don’t even dream about it. In no corner of your brain are you thinking, ‘Taylor Swift is going to send me money and help me out,” added Khurram.
Swift’s representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.
However, she got the opportunity after immigrating to Canada. She saw the artist in Toronto when Swift was in town for the Reputation Stadium Tour in August 2018. Swift invited the superfan backstage at the Rogers Centre to meet her in person.
This is not the first time the celebrity singer-songwriter has given money to her superfans for post-secondary education purposes. In 2015, she sent Rebekah Bortniker a check for $1,989 in order to pay off her student loans in the United States, according to USA Today.
Swift’s next album, Lover, will be released on Aug 23.
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