Taylor Swift Gives Superfan Ayesha Khurram $5K For College

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Who Is Ayesha Khurram? New Details On Fan Who Got $5K From Taylor Swift For College
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Ayesha Khurram, 20, previously met Taylor Swift on her "Reputation" tour. On Monday, she shared a screenshot of a donation she received for $4,829.45 ($6,386.47 in Canadian dollars) from Taylor Nation, LLC, the organization that helps Swift handle merchandise and meet and greets. "Ayesha, get your learn on girl. I love you! Taylor" the comment read. 

Who is Ayesha Khurram?

1. For starters, she’s a huge Taylor Swift fan.

Khurram has been a fan of Swift since 2009. She finally met Swift after a concert at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on August 3, 2018. Swift actually recognized Khurram from her Tumblr account. Just before the donation was made, Khurram was baking Swift’s chai cookie recipe and Swift was liking her social media posts about them.

2. She’s a rising sophomore at the University of Waterloo studying accounting and financial management program.

Earlier this year, Ontario’s provincial government announced severe cuts to the Ontario Student Assistance Program. This budget reduction left many like Khurram struggling to pay the upcoming semester’s tuition and rent. As the daughter of immigrant parents working low-wage jobs in Mississauga with one parent also struggling with chronic kidney disease, Khurram could not turn to her family for financial help.

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3. In a series of Tumblr posts, Khurram wrote about her struggle to afford to stay in school.

She was just $5,000 short of covering her fees for the semester. "When I posted, I was just like venting. It's hard to pay off tuition. It's really expensive," Khurram said. A friend of Khurram’s suggested she drop her PayPal account, too, so people could help her out. She did so, and two hours later, while she was baking cookies, she got a notification from Taylor Nation, LLC. It was a money transfer for almost $5,000 USD, or $6,000 CAD. This donation helped Khurram and her family out tremendously. In a note praising Swift, Khurram wrote, “Taylor Swift took that stress from my parents, my world, and i have never seen them cry/laugh the way they are right now. she has made my family happy through music for years and now through something we could never, ever have imagined or hoped for. i truly do not have the words and i will never, ever be able to repay her for the love and kindness she has shown me right now." 

4. This isn't the first time Swift has helped out a fan with tuition.

Following the release of her sixth album, 1989, the singer sent care packages to several fans, including one that had a check for $1,989 to help pay the fan's student loans. It included a watercolor painted by Swift, a necklace and a check. The sum is a reference to her chart-topping album, 1989, and it's meant to go toward paying off superfan Rebekah Bortniker's student loans. It was sent as a gesture of thanks and support after Swift saw a mash-up video that Bortniker had posted of Swift and her girlfriends, set to the theme song of Friends. "Hi you! I was thinking about you today and how you've been there cheering me on in the most thoughtful and creative ways," Swift wrote in a card that came inside the package. "I really really really really hope you like it. I'm not a good painter but I think you're so beautiful and positive, even though you're dealing with the stress life brings, so I wanted to make you something."

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5. Another time, Swift responded to a fan’s engagement party invite.

Alexander Goldschmidt proposed to his boyfriend, Ross Girard, on a hike in Los Angeles. He took a chance and emailed Swift to see if she'd show up to their engagement party. Not only did she show up, but she also serenaded the happy couple with their favorite song "King of My Heart."

6. Lest you think she only gives a little when she has a lot, Swift has also donated significantly more to another fan whose mother was in a coma for three years.

Swift has a multimillion-dollar net worth. (Last month Forbes called her “the world’s highest-paid celebrity,” with a pre-tax income of over $240 million in 2019). Last year, she donated $15,500 to a fan whose family is struggling after her mom fell into a coma three years ago. In a brave move, Sadie Bartell, a full-time college student, posted, “My Mom has been in a coma for three years now. She had an ulcer that bled out that led to lack of oxygen to the brain which resulted in brain damage. We take care of her at home full time. My dad is unable to work because he has to always be with my Mom. My older brother and I have to provide for our family.” All this happened two days before she saw one of Swift’s 1989 concerts. Swift donated money via the family’s GoFundMe page, signing the donation with a simple, “Love, Taylor, Meredith and Olivia Swift.” Swift generous gesture spurred the subsequent donation of more than $25,000 — an amazing example of how a little generosity can go a long way.

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Leah Scher is an ENFP and recent graduate of Brandeis University. She's an alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. She's passionate about Judaism, poetry, film, satire, astrology, spirituality, and sexual health.

This isn’t the first time she’s helped a fan with tuition fees, and she’s helped others with medical bills.