Pinky Cole, the founder of Slutty Vegan, is lending a helping hand to college students at her Clark Atlanta University alma mater.
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The restaurateur and Stacey Lee are paying off the remaining debts of 30 seniors at the HBCU.
Cole said Lee, a fellow Clark Atlanta graduate who owns a beer bar in New York, approached her with the idea.
“She said it would be dope if we came together to help a few students,” Cole told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was a no-brainer.”
The entrepreneurs contacted the school for a list of seniors with balances and randomly selected 30 of them. They then headed to campus to surprise the scholars with the news.
“They thought they were just coming to meet some alumni,” Cole said. “Then we told them we were paying off their debt, and they could not believe it. Everybody started crying.”
Cole, whose plant-based burger spot has become one of the city's most popular eateries, loves to pay it forward.
Just days ago, she spotted a GoFundMe campaign for Khalil Perry, a junior studying mass communications at Clark Atlanta. He needed about $8,000 to cover his tuition, and Cole chipped in.
And she plans to continue supporting students through her nonprofit, The Pinky Cole Foundation, and hopes more people will do the same.
“This is a charge to other entrepreneurs to pay it forward,” she said. “If people poured into you, it is your duty to pay it back.”
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