Entrepreneurs Pinky Cole and Stacy Lee pay off tuition balances for 30 Clark seniors (video)

All indicators show that a major impediment to college graduation for black students is the cost of staying in school. Beyond that, once your forward looking college grad does get that first degree, school debt may hold them back for years to come as they struggle to get clear of that financial thorn in the side. Thankfully a couple of Clark Atlanta University coeds who have made it in the real world are reaching back to help out graduating seniors at their alma mater.

Slutty Vegan owner Pinky Cole and Harlem Hops owner Stacey Lee will pay off tuition balances for 30 seniors at Clark Atlanta University, reports WXIA.

Dedicated alumni Pinky Cole of Slutty Vegan and Stacey Lee of Harlem Hops say they remember how difficult studying and managing school debt could be and are grateful that they are in positions to help ease the burden for other CAU students.

“I’ve been in that situation trying to figure out how you’re gonna pay for school and if it weren’t for me becoming Miss Clark Atlanta University, I probably wouldn’t have been able to graduate,” Lee recalled.

Lee was glad to help because she wanted the students to be able to get their education without being stressed out about money.

“They were genuinely happy and now they can concentrate on their books and hopefully they will pay it forward also,” Lee said. “I think they will.”

The pair went to Clark Atlanta on Wednesday to deliver the good news to a relieved group of students. Some of them were reduced to tears.

Entrepreneur Pinky Cole, a second-generation Jamaican-American, is the owner of Slutty Vegan. Cole has established herself not only as a successful businesswoman but also as a philanthropist committed to investing and building stronger communities in Atlanta.Cole’s interest was stirred when she encountered a GoFundMe account from Clark Atlanta student Khalil Perry. Perry needed between $7,000 and $8,000 to finish school.

“I literally just posted it and asked for help. And the right person saw it,” Perry said. “Pinky, she hit me up in my DM and she was like, ‘What’s going on with school?’”

Perry eventually met Cole and she offered to help him out.

“It just felt good. It felt rewarding,” Cole said. “That’s the biggest reward and success. it’s not the fact that we paid the money but they’re reactions and how they felt.”

In January 2019, Cole’s Slutty Vegan took the Atlanta food scene by storm when she turned her food truck into a brick-and-mortar store in the West End neighborhood. The restaurant usually has a line wrapped around the building. The brand has several famous fans including T.I., Will Smith and Taraji P. Henson. Cole plans to open two more locations, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  

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