A South Carolina woman is about to obtain her master's degree, years after a generous financial gift from Drake helped propel her to success.
In 2018, the rapper visited the University of Miami and donated a $50,000 scholarship to undergraduate student Destiny Paris James, who ended up starring in his "God's Plan" music video. The now-23-year-old, who is from the city of Denmark, South Carolina, graduated in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in public health and went on to major in the same subject at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. This week, she will obtain her master's degree, and Drake could not be prouder.
"Mama, I mastered it. Daddy, I did it," Destiny, whose father died of cancer just as she completed her freshman year in Miami, wrote on Instagram on Tuesday, May 11. "4 days until I am officially UNC Alum."
Drake, who follows her on Instagram, commented on her post, which included a photo of herself wearing her graduate school commencement gown draped over her shoulders while holding her cap.
"LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DES," he wrote, to which Destiny responded, "@champagnepapi [two blue heart emojis] THANK YOUUUU!!"
Destiny never applied for the scholarship she received from Drake, although she did seek and obtain other forms of financial aid when she was an undergraduate student. She wrote on Instagram in 2018 that her essay and story made it to other departments at the University of Miami. She told the school's student newspaper The Miami Hurricane that she received a phone call from the assistant vice president of university advancement, who wanted to feature her in a video to motivate alumni to donate.
Meanwhile, according to the newspaper, there was a rumor that Drake was going to film a music video on campus. When Destiny arrived to shoot the other video for the school, suddenly, there he was, handing her a giant check for $50,000.
"This was the surprise the whole time," Destiny wrote in her 2018 Instagram post, which included photos of herself and the rapper. "Drake told me that he has read great things about me and appreciates how hard I've worked through so many trials and decided to give me $50K for my tuition. @champagnepapi THANK YOU SO MUCH!!' You don't understand what this means to me! I would've never imagined this happening to me. I'm just a girl from Denmark, SC that wants to MAKE IT and be somebody and for you to see my hard work means the world."
Drake did indeed film a music video, for his song "God's Plan." It showed him presenting Destiny with her check and also donating gifts to other random people.
The $50,000 went a long way to help Destiny. "Everything I went through was so worth it," Destiny told the University of Miami News and Events website in 2019. "Thanks to Drake, I'm probably stressing about classes and work, but I'm not stressing about tuition."
In another 2018 Instagram post, also showing herself with the rapper, she shared a quote: "Everything's adding up. You been through hell and back. That's why you bad as f..." and added the hashtags #MadeDrakeProud, #GodsPlan and #Blessings.