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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez



Stay Up to Date With The Latest and Not-So-Greatest News About Student Loans and More.

About This Episode

DIn today’s episode Daphné Vanessa(@daphnevanessa) and Shamil Rodriguez(@shamilrodriguez)take a fun twist and discuss celebrities that have paid off student loans for their fans or random people they’ve encountered on the internet.

This fun filled episode will inspire you, make you laugh, and give you some insight as to how sharing your story online can be heard by the right person at the right time and lead to your student loans being paid off. We hope you have as much fun listening to this episode as we did making it.


  • Celebrities that have paid off student loans to loyal fans.
  • Chance online encounters that led to one year’s worth of tuition being paid.
  • Celebrities that have created systems aimed at changing the trajectory of underserved children in their hometown communities.
  • Formal scholarship funds created by celebrties that you can apply to today!
  • And much more…

Enjoying the show? Leave us a rating and review. Every comment helps! Drop in your IG handle so we can thank you personally!


Resources from this Episode:

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:01): Welcome to the student loan podcast. Here, you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses and inspiring stories about paying off student loans. We're your hosts, Daphne, Vanessa and Shamil Rodriguez.

Daphné Vanessa (00:18): Welcome to the student loan podcast. How are you everybody today's episode. We are going to be looking at celebrities who have done the gracious gift of paying off people's student loans. So this episode is a little bit different, funny twist and humorous twist on a lot of the serious topics that we discuss all the time. So with that Shamil let's get started.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:45): Okay, let's do it. Let's start off with a quote, ask and it shall be given to you seek and you shall find knock and it shall be opened on to you for everyone that asks receives, and those that seek find. And to him that knock, it shall be opened. You may be asking why quote the Bible right now on the Student Loan podcast. If so, good question. The reason is because we are going to be discussing how celebrities have helped pay student loans for folks that voiced and shared their vulnerability online in some way or another doesn't mean that you have to do it this way, but we thought it's a very inspiring, interesting twist on student loans and how sometimes opening up and sharing it either to just voice your concerns about how much student loans are impacting your life, or to help connect with other people in the community that are feeling the same way or just the, let it out and vent, they go ahead and do it.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:56): But you know, it's great in those moments, we have found that celebrities have stepped up to the plate and I've said, Hey, let me give the gift that I can to help this person that may be in need. So a first example that I'd like to bring up for that is actually Russell Crowe, and it doesn't have to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. It can just be literally ha helping out in a very good way. And in this example, Russell, Crowe's a very big actor. If some of you are familiar and you can just Google him, if you'd like help on aspiring actor to his dreams, when that person actually created a GoFundMe page for acting in school, I think it was fantastic and not just any acting school, but it was the lending Academy of music and dramatic art, like a very, very, very well-known school. Unfortunately, he had missed the amount that he needed. He fell short of the amount I needed and Russell Crowe actually stepped up and donated the remainder to cover the rest of the tuition. I mean, what do you think, Daphne? Wow.

Daphné Vanessa (03:01): I'm just amazed that with such generosity and with so much noise on the internet, that that was the gym that was found for this celebrity to, to help somebody that is in a field that is related. So that was just very inspiring.

Shamil Rodriguez (03:20): Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, it just goes to show you that celebrities, I think, and this is just from conversations that I've had with other people think that this celebrities are not human in a way that they really are. Right. And especially in this example with Russell Crowe, he was helping somebody else. That's trying to break into his field. Right. And especially when it comes to the arts and acting, it's very difficult. There's a long list of people that haven't succeeded at his level, but he's willing to just contribute in his own way to help somebody else and basically keep the door open for someone else to try and achieve that type of success or just be in the field in general. So I really admire that. It's something that surprised me in a good way. And I think that this type of giving that is out there obviously helps the person that's receiving.

Shamil Rodriguez (04:20): But as we know with studies in happiness and science, it also helps the person that's giving. And I think that's just a general thing. I don't think we needed science to show that. I think when you give a gift for a birthday or a gift to a loved one, especially one that one that a gift that isn't expected or isn't dictated by a calendar, you know, you feel good about giving that gift as well. And I think that it's really says a lot about, about his character and just trying to make sure that newcomers to the industry are getting that opportunity and not letting money be the reason why they can't go and pursue the field that they want at a prestigious Academy, uh, because they can't afford it. I think that's a wonderful, wonderful way to start the episode. At least that's my perspective

Daphné Vanessa (05:08): That makes total and complete sense, especially for somebody who they want to perhaps attract that sort of positivity and they haven't manifested it yet. That manifestation is possible through a lot of the mindset pieces that you just discussed. So I think it's totally possible. It's about right place, right time. Right mindset.

Shamil Rodriguez (05:35): Sure. So who did you have in mind, Daphne that you wanted to share with the audience that has helped someone else with their student loans?

Daphné Vanessa (05:43): Yeah. So the first person that comes to mind is Ellen degenerates. Uh, Ellen degenerates works basically with celebrities to encourage a different gifts of student loans. And since the COVID crisis, it looks like she's really focused on employees that work for first responder entities. So she seems to have focused on that area. That's who she's looking at frontline workers and then collaborating with celebrities to help pay those off. Most recently, about four days ago, she collaborated with Meg, the stallion and Megan, the stallion and Ellen degenerates together paid off a nurses, $50,000 a student loans.

Shamil Rodriguez (06:34): Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Daphné Vanessa (06:36): I'm just going to repeat that so that everybody heard $50,000 for this frontline worker who definitely deserves it so generous. So kind that this continues to happen, even though a number of other crises are happening, certain celebrities are remembering that people like this nurse still have student loans to pay. So that was just such a beautiful article. And I think we'll post that in the show notes so that you guys can read it.

Shamil Rodriguez (07:10): Absolutely. And I think it's good to post it in the show notes so that folks can apply for these as well. Right? Because he said that you can apply for their scholarship or is it only that Ellen is picking those people? And I say, Alan, as if I know her,

Daphné Vanessa (07:25): I know we, we host Ellen all the time. That's what she still knows. That is essentially our friend, not so good point that you bring up is that you can actually write to the show and Ellen will help pay off your student loans. So she has a link that is essentially saying, want Ellen to pay off your debt or student loans. Do you feel like everything you're doing to get by is just not getting your way. Then you can have Ellen degenerate pay off your student loans. And so she has that link that is publicly available. What we'll do is that we'll link it in the show notes as well, so that you know where to apply where to go to, to, you know, I can't, we can't even say roll the dice because really guys, there's just nothing that you're giving as consideration. You're just putting in your name and email and hoping that you get selected. So it doesn't hurt. And, um, you know, we're really excited to see what, what, what the future of that segment looks like. Cause it looks like they're doing it more frequently these days. What do you think Chanel?

Shamil Rodriguez (08:33): I think that's a really interesting perspective to take, especially focusing on frontline workers and COVID-19, uh, Ellen does a great, great job. And I think that it's someone that I, I thought you were going to say, or like that just came to mind that like, Oh, that makes sense that she would do something like that because she consistently giving, giving, giving and giving. I know that back in the day, Oprah was the, the TV show giver. Uh, you know, you get a car, you get a car, you get a car. But I really think that Ellen has done a great job of stepping into that type of role for, uh, for daytime television today. And I, I, I, I just don't keep up in that way. So for me, a lot of this is like YouTube clips of people receiving great gifts and like their responses and being shocked when she does it.

Shamil Rodriguez (09:22): But listening to interviews with Ellen, uh, and seeing some of her skits before, uh, her standup, I, I just feel like there's a genuine want to help people. And I think that what I appreciate about this style is that there's like this perpetual way to help other people, right. And so you may not be selected, but why not put it out there? Just like we said, with the quote, that's what we started out with that quote, because we want to encourage you, even though we're taking a very fun twist into student loans today in this episode, I think it's really important to summarize the idea that why not just put yourself out there, if it makes sense for your situation, you might have, Ellen's generous pay your student loan debt. And what if you like got falling over or your phone over to California to be on our show to receive that, like, wouldn't that be a tremendous experience that you never would have imagined? So, you know, keep up, keep an open mind, but definitely what do you think about the idea of as a celebrity, Ellen degenerate is collaborating with other celebs, like Megan, the stallion and others out there, like, is that, and I feel like I would like to hear your thoughts on like, is that a good model, right? Like instead of just taking on giving by herself, you can actually collaborate with other people and essentially impact more people. Uh, because now you're splitting, uh, that costs with other celebrities or is that not even a thought?

Speaker 4 (10:57): I think there is so much to unpack people feel good, like you, like, you've noted a number of times, but donors feel good from giving right. There is probably some sort of dopamine release, but essentially donors really enjoy giving

Shamil Rodriguez (11:17): That's our scientific way of summing that up.

Speaker 4 (11:21): You bring up a really good point and there's a lot of opportunity. Donors love giving donors feel generosity when they give, there's probably some sort of a dopamine release unscientifically, but there's a lot of just positive feeling from giving. And then on the other side, they're making impact. And so while you may have retrieved a number of success items in your lifetime, nothing quite compares to making impact on others. And so I, this trend really increasing where instead of celebrities sort of harvesting everything for themselves, they're starting to think about, well, how can we make more impact with donations and not just donation in writing that meets tax requirements, but perhaps actual donations that deal with care and appreciation.

Shamil Rodriguez (12:18): Yeah. I think that, I think the, you brought up a good point, like wanting to set it out there in a way that has that care and appreciation. Uh, and I, and it, I mean, in the end you're helping, right? Like in the end, you're still helping someone else out there and you didn't have to. So I appreciate that. She's doing that as a great example. They're deaf. So the person that I had in mind was the Ron James, right. We're we're, we're speaking now. You're going to hear, Hey, you're going to a lot of the Lakers. I'm okay with them guys. Oh yeah, that's true. Now, now, now he's uh, on your side or you're on his side. Uh,

Speaker 4 (12:58): He's on my side please.

Shamil Rodriguez (13:02): But you know,

Speaker 4 (13:02): For those of you who don't know, I am an avid Lakers fan.

Shamil Rodriguez (13:06): That's true. That is very true. Avid, I think is probably not a term strong enough to, to, to describe, uh, the way you feel about the Lakers. I agree, but the point I was trying to make there is that we, we talk a lot about celebrities and the people that we're going to highlight for the most part, or are actors and musicians. But what I like about LeBron's approach to student loans and education in general was that he's he created a school, right? He created a school in his hometown and is providing Scott. I made a commitment to provide scholarships for up to 2300 kids in that school. When they go to college, they go to the university of Akron, just so you know, that's a $100 million commitment that is not something to sneeze at. And I'm not saying like we had a previous examples where there's just lower amounts, $50,000, $2,000, you know, it's, it, it doesn't necessarily mean the numbers, the reason that makes it so in awe inspiring. Right. So

Speaker 4 (14:17): Inspiring. And it adds up, right. Even if it's just 2000 here, 3000 there, it adds up just like we sat on our previous scholarship episode.

Shamil Rodriguez (14:25): Exactly. That's and that's the point. And I think what I like about this is that he, LeBron really focused on the idea of like, look, it doesn't, you don't just wait until the person who's going to college. He created a school to help take them from elementary school all the way through when they were about to graduate. The college now is providing meals for kids at schools, uh, providing much more staff than you would normally find in your traditional public school. So that these students that are, that he's identified right, are, are going to have better chances of success. And then now they'll get to go to an in-state school and get in-state tuition and, and like launch and like just really changed the trajectory of their careers. And I think that's what I really appreciate about this approach is that it wasn't just, you know, let me just throw some money at it.

Shamil Rodriguez (15:19): And then the person can figure it out on their own from a scholarship perspective, which is AOK at, is literally okay to do it that way. What I appreciate what I think the distinction we're trying to make here is that I appreciate that he went a little deeper into the problem of the discrepancies between households that can't afford to go to college without needing scholarships, or just, you know, versus students that have to take out student loans because their families couldn't help them go to college. And I think that changes the game because he's focusing on at-risk children in the community. Those, as we know, statistically speaking are going to be folks that are going to have a lower chance of getting into the school. And then when they do get into school, they take longer to complete. Instead of four years, they may take five or six.

Shamil Rodriguez (16:09): And then at that point, if they're financing their schooling through student loans, that means now they're taking out a larger debt burden, which means that when they graduate, they're paying off that debt longer. And there's just this, this cascading effect that can happen. And I appreciate that. LeBron James has thought that through and is created his own impact on his community that he grew up in to say, Hey, I'm going to shift that cycle so that these students that are from these neighborhoods are going to have a better chance of success without having the typical burden on other people. And there are similar situations across the country have had to face. What do you think Daphne

Speaker 4 (16:50): Spot on spot on, spot on.

Shamil Rodriguez (16:53): So who do you have in mind that you want to highlight Daphne?

Speaker 4 (16:56): So Kylie Jenner who was a billionaire then was not a billionaire. Also use some of her generous funds, whether she's a billionaire or not to pay off over a hundred thousand dollars, this gift left the lucky fan and her mother. Wow. In tears, of course they, the one, the one fan whose name was Ashley Allen one day and her mom meet a, they had, you know, financial pressures and the daughter Ashley had to leave her job so that it could help alleviate some of those pressures. And the video this episode also, by the way, with Ellen was so, um, just to see a parent and a child and a child who's so respectful of her mom to the point that she dropped out of whatever she was studying to support a major that would help, you know, take care of her mom. Her whole motivation was her mom. It's a beautiful story. And in addition to the $100,000 that were, that was personally given to Ashley and her mom, Kylie Jenner also donated an additional $50,000, five zero to meet a, a school where she teaches a public school. Um, and it was so, so inspiring. I'm thinking really challenging, very difficult to watch without crying. So I'm warning you. It might be a good idea to make some space because your emotions are going to come out when you watch this video.

Shamil Rodriguez (18:52): That's, that's amazing. No, I think that we'll definitely have to include that in the show notes for sure. And that's a beautiful story to share.

Speaker 4 (19:02): Yeah. It's, it's, it's really beautiful. And so Kylie Jenner still has so much positivity and generosity in her heart. That's one example, but some other examples are how involved she is in service, but instead of fanning, I'm going to stop and let us move on to the next,

Shamil Rodriguez (19:24): Uh, one, one example that it's like all the, not an oldie, but a goodie. Cause I think it just highlights the idea of like, just putting yourself out there. Cause you never know who's listening, uh, is how Tyrese gave $50,000 towards one year's tuition of Lorenzo Murphy who was going to Morehouse. I thought it was amazing because he just came across this content on Instagram and he's doing as though the motivator. So he was just inspiring people, sharing inspirational messages on Instagram and that's how he came across his radar. That's literally how I came across his radar. Can you imagine you're just posting away, pushing content out there, creating content for the world to see that is going to help and motivate somebody else. And then all of a sudden a celebrity is helping you pay for one year's worth of your college tuition. Come on now.

Shamil Rodriguez (20:13): Like, I don't know. I don't know if Lorenzo Murphy is old enough to remember how is singing. I know a lot of people remember him from the past and the furious now, but I'm just saying as a fan from back in the day when I was younger, like kudos that use hirees, I'm just saying, you know, just put yourself out there, share your message, share your story. And it doesn't have to be like you're begging for money or you're begging for help. Like, this is an example of like, just put out your, you know, just put your out there. Most of us are already on social media in one way or another. Why not share your story, share that you're going to school sharing that you graduated from college or that you're, you know, you're happy that you're paying off your student loan debt or that, you know, you're taking advantage of trying to pay off your federal student loans.

Shamil Rodriguez (21:05): Now since there's zero interest is being accrued on them. Yeah. So posts. So guess what guys, you know what, we should encourage everyone to go out there and post that you are looking to pay down your student, federal student loans, even faster while the federal government isn't charging interest. And maybe just, maybe, maybe a celebrity will see your posts and decided to just say, Hey, you know what? I'm going to help you close that gap before the end of the fiscal year, this year, before the end of September 30th and help you pay off your student loans before the federal government kicks back in these, uh, those interest rates and the a deferment program. So, uh, just put it out there. You never know, uh, knock end and you might receive.

Daphné Vanessa (21:52): Yup. Yup. And so true. And it's funny because you would think that the celebrities who are so generous are the ones who have experience with student loans. There's no way that they could be so generous without that experience. And there are a few examples where those people didn't necessarily come in only for the title. They also, they're not just talking about it, they're being about it. If that makes it a little bit of soccer, Beyonce. Yes. The Beyonce, there is no other has a foundation called be good. B E Y not to be. And I think that's very creative since her name is BNZ, you know, anyways, be good promotes scholarships and philanthropy through awareness and programs that are about causes that she's interested in. The queen bee that is beyond safe. And she is really into making powerful statements recently. So I'm interested to see how her scholarship turns because it doesn't, uh, it doesn't seem to have as many restrictions as other scholarships.

Daphné Vanessa (23:11): She really does seem to want to give away the money to people who take the time and effort into applying. So with that, we're actually going to share with you the announcement of how you can win. And now I wouldn't say win, but earn, but how you can win, earn a hundred thousand dollars towards your college or university. So that's an opportunity. I think beyond say, you know, she's doing so much. Is she actually involved in the scholarship? I, I kind of liked the stories a little bit better when like Nicki Minaj is just like posting. I think those are much more exciting stories and like creating a formal scholarship program. Although the formal scholarship program pays a lot of money. So

Shamil Rodriguez (24:01): Exactly we've covered that before the formal scholarship programs, it takes it from being random to putting it back in the student's control. Right. It takes it back into your hands. And I think what's interesting is that some other folks that like, kind of do the random approach, I'm not random, but I think more personalized approach is like rappers, like Nelly, who don't look for, for the publicity. Right. But you know, he's, he has been sending people to school every year and he picks them out personally from the community. That's beautiful. Exactly. So I, for, for over 10 years, I mean, at this point it's gotta be over 15 years. So the, these are, you know, these are just, I think really inspiring stories that, that don't only just suggest that celebrities, like I said before, are human, right? Like a lot of celebrities understand this issue. They know that their fans that spend money to go to their concerts or spend money to go to their games or go to, to watch their movies, know that there that's money that they're using because they say, Hey, I like this person, this creator's content so much. I'm going to spend my money to go there while I'm still, you know, carrying this student loan debt burden.

Daphné Vanessa (25:24): And that takes some strength, right? Doesn't that take strength, getting the scholarship money, doing what they need to do and calling it a day and then somebody who actually believes in the service of the work that they're doing.

Shamil Rodriguez (25:38): Sure, sure. Absolutely. So the, what what's what's happening there is that if you, some people, some people are just applying for money just to get money. Right. But there are people that are applying and I think it depends on the scholarship fund right now. This really is for like the celebrity. That's looking to create these funds. And I know this is a celebrity episode, but there are plenty of normal people like us that create scholarship funds, guys. Like it is not exclusive for celebrities only that are making millions and millions of dollars. I just want to put it out there. Like there are plenty of good people that I've worked with, that we contribute, we put towards the pot. And then next thing you know, there's a scholarship fund for, you know, for five or 10 people that apply that might fit a specific criteria that we put together. Right. And so just keep in mind, like from the perspective of somebody, let's say you were interested, but listener out there right now, let's say you're interested in creating a scholarship fund. It's up to you to decide how you're going to kind of lead folks that are looking to apply for those funds through your checkpoints is what I call them or amaze. Right. In the end, everybody is trying to go for the cheese.

Speaker 5 (26:53): Oh, I get it right. You got it. All right. Good, good. Okay.

Shamil Rodriguez (26:57): One person. Got it. Um, but it's up to you to really put that criteria. And are you looking for people that are from a specific backgrounds socioeconomic, or are you looking for a certain type of people that are looking for, to have a specific interest in a certain degree? Are you looking for people that have a specific interest in serving better serve the completing a service type of mission, right? Like what if they have a specific mission in life it's up to you and you can literally draft that in your requirements and in your application process. And then all of a sudden you're going to hit the people that you are looking for, whether it's Ellen degenerates and identifying first responders as people that will be recipients for the student loan payments, or if it's LeBron James and finding at-risk youth in his community to be recipients of his scholarships.

Shamil Rodriguez (27:44): So it's up to you to decide how you want to frame and create your scholarship, or do you want it to be like first come first serve? Like I'm just going to knock out the first a hundred people that apply, get it, as long as they meet, like the very minimum criteria is of having a specific GPA in high school, or while they're in college, they're below a certain age. And, you know, once they apply, they get the funds, right? You, you can do it, it's up to you to do it in your way. But I think just creating a scholarship fund that just kind of hands out the money to first come first, serve students versus folks that may have a very mission-driven focus or looking for students that are pursuing a type of degree, or that might be of a specific background who were hoping that this episode was going to serve as a very just light-hearted topic of conversation.

Shamil Rodriguez (28:37): But that helped give some hope, right? Some joy, something to laugh and smile about. Or in some instances give you a creative perspective, right? Realistically, did you know that Alan's generous had this link on our website that you can apply for randomly selected for? We really are here product guests, really trying to create an environment where we're bringing new ideas, creative ideas for you, just like we do with start new, just like we do with these content on celebrities, just like we did with bringing journalists to discuss, you know, more detail, more in depth areas or bringing inspiring stories from people that have paid off their student loan debt. Right. We really want to give you the full perspective and inspire you to make change in your life, pay down your debt as soon as humanly possible, that works well with your situation, or just learn more about it so that, you know, and you know, more about student loans and that you're just more informed so you can help yourself.

Shamil Rodriguez (29:37): And, and here we go, help those around you that look to your advice, right? Never forget that you end up as soon as you graduate or as you're in school, at least this was my experience. You end up just getting a lot of people in your bubble, you know, parents or aunts and uncles, or cousins or friends that have kids that are in college that will say like, Hey, would you mind talking to my son or daughter, would you mind, you know, sharing this? Or what are your thoughts on this aspect? Or did you take us through the loans and like, how are you dealing with them? Or you just get a bunch of different questions. And we're hoping that here with the content that you're finding here at the student loan podcast, that you find helpful, that you would share it with somebody else that might be in a situation where that could benefit from it.

Shamil Rodriguez (30:25): So that I think is my 2 cents Daphne, like we said before, knocking, you shall find ask, and it shall be given to you another way that I like to summarize it all the time when I speak to people one-on-one is that a closed mouth gathers no food. So if you don't speak up, you won't receive any benefits. So just like we're doing here by speaking up and sharing these benefits with you the best way to do so, and to like support the podcast is to share it with somebody else and give us a rate or review for, to see you next week with a very special guest. And we think that you will be inspired by their story and some of their insight as well. Definitely. Anything else before we go,

Daphné Vanessa (31:02): We encourage you to look out and get inspired, look at these stories, see which one of them resonates with you too, that you can pull within yourself and, and get at the courage to maybe just ask, what does it hurt to ask, uh, go on to Ellen, degeneracy his app and, and see if you can be one of the lucky winners. And also you can look within yourself to see, well, what else can I do to get some extra payments in? And I think we just, we, we had this episode and just really in fun to talk about something interesting and fun, but how can you apply that? I, I think there are so many ways to apply that into actual strategies.

Shamil Rodriguez (31:48): Well said, well said, all right, everyone. So that wraps it up for us today. We look forward to seeing you next week, more information on this podcast episode and all the links that we promised you that we'd have in the show notes, visit the student loan podcast.com forward slash episode 16. That's the student loan podcast.com for sash episode 16.

Daphné Vanessa (32:09): That's a wrap. Woo.

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