In 2018, Drake had a $1 million production budget for “God’s Plan” music video. Instead of filming a glitzy video though, he donated all of the cash to people who needed it. Throughout the clip, Drake was seen paying for groceries, giving toys to young children, and even paying off tuition and debt for students in the city of Miami. One of those scholarship recipients, Destiny James, received a $50k from the rapper and is now preparing to graduate with her master’s degree.
James will be graduating from UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
James’ reaction in the “God’s Plan” video was 100% authentic and she described the experience as “mind blowing to say the least.”
“I had tears in my eye, I screamed, I ran around,” James said. “[Drake] told me that he had read my story, was proud of me, and that he wanted to give me $50,000 towards my education. We recorded a Snapchat video together and afterwards I was able to sit on set while he recorded more scenes for the video.” The 23-year-old graduated from the University of Miami in 2019 and is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.
When asked about the impact of the lump sum amount of money from Drake, James says she was able to worry less about finances and just have fun being a student. “It gave me the opportunity to fully enjoy being a student at UM without financial burden. The scholarship was applied to my senior year at University of Miami, and it was hands down, my best year of undergrad. I was able to focus on academics, leadership roles, and enjoying college and life without worrying about my tuition would be paid,” she said.
The South Carolina native received love from thousands of Instagrammers after posting her photo, including the Champagne Papi himself. “LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DES,” Drake commented, which received over 50,000 likes alone. Though she and the OVO rapper don’t communicate on a regular basis, James said she would send Drake regular updates on her academic progress. “I sent him a message informing him I was graduating from my Master’s program and he responded only a few minutes later before commenting on my picture,” said.
Now that she’s officially on the job market, James is excited for what’s to come. In addition to looking to secure a job in her field, she is also running a one-stop design shop on Etsy, Bands Plus. Through the platform, she sells tees, accessories, kids apparel, and more. “My business is my baby and my second love to public health,” said James. “I am excited to be able to get into my career field while also keeping in touch with my creative passions.”