Musician Pharrell Williams pays off Texas HBCU student loans

Grammy-winning rapper and producer Pharrell Williams made a handful of students “Happy” Friday after announcing their intention to repay their student loans. Among the lucky scholars is a student from Texas.

Channing Hill, of Euless, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is among five students and recent graduates from historically black colleges and universities who received the news while participating in a panel discussion on Friday in Washington, D.C. hosted by the NAACP as part of Williams’ “Something in the Water” festival, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

With this gesture, Hill, who will begin his final year at Howard University in the fall, will receive $18,000.

On Instagram, Hill wrote of the news: “I think my mom started dancing the praises when I called her. During my 3 years at Howard University, I had personally accumulated more than $18,000 in student loan debt and that figure multiplies when you add in the loans my parents racked up.Today I enter my senior year with a clean slate.


Hill also shared a video of when she and the other students heard the news, with everyone appearing shocked, some in tears. She also shared a clip of Williams talking to students, saying in part, “It’s about mastering your intentions.”

Hill, a specialist in legal and strategic management communications and president of Howard’s NAACP student chapter, told the Star-Telegram that she plans to go to law school and become a lawyer.

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson took to Twitter to praise Williams’ promise to repay the loans, sharing reactions from students. “Right after @Pharrell surprised young NAACP leaders by paying off ALL of their student debt, someone asked ‘what are you gonna do now?’ One student tearfully replied, “I’m going to law school. That’s what it’s all about: unlocking opportunity for those who are historically oppressed.”

However, Johnson called for more to be done for students, urging President Joe Biden to forgive student loan debt. “@POTUS it’s up to you now to do the same for all Americans plagued by student debt”, he wrote.

Hill also echoed Johnson’s statements calling on the Biden administration to forgive federal student loan debt. “My God. I’m still in disbelief,” she wrote on Instagram. “Be active in this fight to cancel ALL student loans. Call Biden and tell him it’s time.”





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