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'I'm still in disbelief': Pharrell Williams pays student debt for North Texas woman, 4 others

Channing Hill, a graduate of Trinity High School in Euless, is a student at Howard University in Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON — The singer-producer Pharrell Williams dropped a big surprise for five college students last week: He's picking up all their debt.

And one of the five students -- all of whom are NAACP youth leaders -- is from North Texas.

Channing Hill, a graduate of Trinity High School in Euless, is a student at Howard University in Washington D.C.

In her three years in college, she's accumulated more than $18,000 in student debt, according to a post on her Instagram.

Last week, Williams wiped the slate clean.

Hill posted her reaction on Instagram.

"I think my mama started praise dancing when I called her," Hill wrote. "Throughout my 3 years at Howard University I had personally accumulated over $18,000 in student loan debt and that figure becomes multiplied when you add on the loans my parents have accumulated. Today, I enter my senior year with a clean slate. Pharrell In partnership with the NAACP has committed to pay off my student loan debt. My god. I'm still in disbelief."

The surprise donation came during a panel the NAACP was hosting with youth leaders about the debt crisis and its impact on Black students.

This wasn't the first honor for Hill, who in February won the NAACP Image Award for Youth Activist of the Year. She led protests at Howard over inadequate student housing, according to the Star-Telegram.

“Joining the protest and becoming a leader in the protest, to me, there was never a conscious choice there,” Hill told the newspaper. “It was just always what I had to do.”

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