Music artist Lil Nas X is investing in the futures of youth. According to Forbes, the “Old Town Road” rapper—whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill—has teamed up with the Black-founded scholarship app Scholly to generate $30,000 worth of scholarships.
A large part of his fan base are individuals who are in high school or college and Hill wanted to find a way to empower them through education. As part of the scholarship competition, students will have to fill out an application form and complete an essay through the Scholly app. Three students will be awarded $10,000 scholarships that can be used at any collegiate institution.
For Hill, his personal experiences inspired him to partner with Scholly. Before his rise to fame, the Georgia native struggled with paying off his student loan debt. “I think it’s important because if I was the person who I was last year I would want somebody to reach down and back to me,” he said during an interview with Scholly founder Christopher Gray. “I think it sets a chain reaction off when somebody else finds success, they feel the need to give back because somebody gave to them. I’m thankful that I’m able to help out these students because they deserve it for their hard work.”
Gray is happy that artists like Hill are using their platform to put the focus on education. “He’s one of the biggest stars in the nation right now, so it’s good to see him working with us to use his platform for good,” he told Forbes.
The app—which was launched in 2013—has helped students garner over $100 million in scholarships. It was featured on Shark Tank and backed by investors Daymond John and Lori Greiner. In January, the company partnered with the cast of the Freeform series Grown-ish to help individuals pay off $125,000 in student loan debt.