A recent college graduate from Huber Heights says he’s planning to give back to his school and community after learning his commencement speaker will pay off his student loans.
At Morehouse College on Sunday, billionaire philanthropist and tech investor Robert F. Smith pledged to donate up to $40 million to cover graduates’ student debt.
“My family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans,” Smith announced to the crowd.
“I turned to the person to my left and to my right and say, ‘Is that what he just said?'” said Steven Anderson, a Morehouse graduate from Huber Heights. “And then we turn around to the person in back of me, ‘Is that we he just said?’ And then an adminstrator came and said, ‘How does it feel to be debt free?'”
No longer facing around $180,000 in student debt, the Wayne High School alum told 2 NEWS he can better focus on his future as he pursues a career in public service.
“I can actually think about what I want to do and not have the fear of paying back my student loans,” Anderson said.
Although tuition didn’t stop Steven from attending Morehouse, his mother Regina Anderson acknowledges the donation’s impact on her family.
“We always said it’s going to take a prayer to get some of this stuff paid off,” she said. “And it worked.”
Smith’s one request of the graduates: “pay it forward.” To hold up his end of the deal, Anderson said he plans to donate to his college and local causes.
“What Mr. Smith showed is that we have to put our money where our mouth is and how important that contributions to our communities are,” he said.