Home · Education

Destiny James Got a $50k Scholarship From Drake, Now She's Graduating With Her Master's

"Mama, I mastered it. Daddy, I did it," her caption read.

Three years ago, Drake blessed the world with his tearjerking philanthropic music video “God’s Plan.” Throughout the video, 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 scholarship recipient in particular by the name of Destiny James received a $50k scholarship is now preparing to graduate with her Master’s Degree.

James’ reaction in the “God’s Plan” video was 100% authentic and she described the experience as “mind blowing to say the least.” She was in complete and utter shock. “I had tears in my eye, I screamed, I ran around. [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,” James told ESSENCE. “We recorded a Snapchat video together and afterwards I was able to sit on set while he recorded more scenes for the video.”

When asked about the impact of the lump sum amount of money from Drake, James was able to soar her academic wings even further. “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 Denmark, South Carolina native received love from thousands of Instagrammers after posting her Instagram photo, including the Champagne Papi himself. “LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DES,” he commented, which received over 1,900 likes alone. Though she and the OVO rapper don’t communicate on a regular basis, James 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,” she told ESSENCE.

The location of the photo was tagged as UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, which is where James will be graduating from. Now that she’s officially on the job market and in the application process of it all, James is excited for what’s to come next in her career. She is currently the head and creator of one-stop design shop Bands Plus for tees, drinkware, car 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.”

The 23-year-old graduated from the University of Miami back in 2019 and is currently a Master’s of Public Health student at the University of North Carolina. She is also a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc..