Benevolent pop star Nicki Minaj
got a lot of praise from a graduating University of Louisiana at Lafayette student thanks to a timely tuition payment she made for him, according to the Associated Press.
Artavion Cook took to social media to thank Minaj for helping cover his outstanding balance of $1,300 a few years ago after reaching out to her on Twitter, as Blavity previously reported.
"Show me straight A's that I can verify w/ur school and I'll pay it. Who wants to join THAT contest?!?!????????♀️ Dead serious. Shld I set it up," she wrote on Twitter in 2017.
Show me straight A's that I can verify w/ur school and I'll pay it. Who wants to join THAT contest?!?!????????♀️ Dead serious. Shld I set it up? https://t.co/czH715u64a
— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) May 7, 2017
Cook was one of about a dozen fans who contacted Minaj and actually got a response. Just a few days later, Minaj released a list of students she helped with tuition payments.
The payments helped keep Cook in school and this week, he graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a bachelor’s in biology.
In an Instagram post, Cook thanked Minaj for helping him make it through school.
"I can't believe that I'm actually saying this out loud, but I am an official college GRADUATE! Bachelor of Science in Biology. Chemistry and Psychology minor," he wrote. "This day is even more special because @NICKIMINAJ paid my tuition a few semesters ago, and today is her birthday!"
The Daily Advertiser reported that Cook is hoping to go to medical school and will look to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) this spring.
His family joked that his deep love of Minaj's music paid off. Cook also noted the funny coincidence of him graduating on December 8, which happens to be the "Barbie Tingz" rapper's birthday.
"A lot of times celebrities are always the first to say, 'You need to do this, you need to do that.' But for years she's been saying 'Stay in school' and stressing the importance of education, and she not only says it, but she also helps. This isn't the first time," Cook told The Daily Advertiser.
According to local news outlet KATC, funding for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) was cut by Louisiana officials in 2018, forcing Cook to look for other fund sources to continue his schooling.
“I tweeted mine and she saw it. She quoted it and said send me the info, I’ll pay it. About a week later, her assistant messaged me from her account and in the next few days, my balance was zero. It really meant a lot to me especially to my mom,” Cook said.
TOPS was eventually able to regain its funding and Cook no longer needed help, but he said he was forever grateful that Minaj jumped in to help him during his time of need.
"Me and my friends are supposed to start studying for the MCAT next week and hopefully I score well, get accepted into a medical school that will give me a big scholarship so I don't have to worry about taking out all those loans," Cook said.
Cook's choices for medical schools include Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine and LSU Health Shreveport, according to The Daily Advertiser.