A finalist studying Experimental Psychology at New College has received a donation of £9,000 from grime artist Stormzy, as part of her crowdfunding campaign to fund her post-graduate studies at Harvard University.
Fiona Asiedu’s campaign, SW2Harvard, began yesterday and was intended to fund the £12,000 she needed to support her education and move to the United States from South West London, the postcode of which she has used in the name of the project.
On her CrowdFunder page, she writes: “As a young black woman, from an inner city, working class background, this is such an amazing opportunity. Ultimately, I believe that this will encourage young people from similar backgrounds to aspire for greatness and reach their full potential! I really do hope that I am able to make my vision into a reality WITH YOUR HELP!”
She intends to study for a Masters in Human Development and Psychology in order to do research into psychological development of specifically working class communities and ethnic minorities.
In the early hours of this morning, a friend of Asiedu, with Twitter handle @stephgump, tweeted the grime artist saying: “Hi @Stormzy1 would you like to help my friend @FionaJ_A get into Harvard university? She is your GH sister in Christ.”
— w/ a dab of ranch (@StephGump) May 15, 2017
Stormzy, real name Michael Omari, retweeted the message and, at 11.17am, a donation of £9,000 was made to the page. Stormzy’s PR have since confirmed that this was his donation.
Asiedu’s original target of £12,000 was reportedly surpassed within 20 hours, and her total now stands at £13,120, with a new target set at £14,000. Citing the full costs as £59,000, Asiedu says that she has received “an external scholarship as well as financial aid from Harvard Graduate School of Education, along with family contribution,” and the Crowdfunder page was intended to make up the remaining £12,000.
On her CrowdFunder page, Asiedu writes of her trepidation in beginning her studies at Oxford, having come from a state school: “I hadn’t known of many people who had attended Oxford University and the whole thing seemed so out of reach that it wasn’t in the picture for me.”
She continues: “I believe that it is my responsibility to empower individuals who come from a similar background as me. I want those who see my current position as unattainable to be able to realise their full potential and to aspire for the very best.”
Stormzy and Asiedu have been contacted for comment.