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St. Louis woman shares her mom’s reaction to law school acceptance to show ‘black joy’

"If you need to see a little black joy, please watch my mom’s reaction when I told her I got into law school with a $40,000 annual scholarship," Oliver said
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — A woman who is originally from St. Louis and recently accepted into law school, shared a heartwarming video of her mom reading her acceptance letter.

The video, which now has more than 16 million views, shows Melinda Oliver handing her mom the acceptance letter. She was accepted to the Full Time Day program at DePaul University College of Law and awarded a Dean’s Scholarship of $40,000.

"If you need to see a little black joy, please watch my mom’s reaction when I told her I got into law school with a $40,000 annual scholarship," Oliver wrote on Twitter with the video.

"I saw that she was on the phone with a friend, so I decided to just spring the news on her when she'd least expect it," Oliver told NBC News. "She helped me file my taxes, so at first I pretended it was a letter from the IRS as a joke."

Oliver is one of the co-founders of The Collective STL, which is a nonprofit yoga and wellness studio committed to improve the health and well-being of black communities in St. Louis.

‘It’s important for me to let people know I am not perfect. My journey was difficult and there were a lot of road blocks but I stayed the course and kept the faith. If you take anything from my video, please take encouragement. Be encouraged today! You can do anything,’ she tweeted.

A GoFundMe that was created by one of Oliver’s friends raised $24,535 of the $15,000 goal. It’ll be used to pay back her undergraduate college and any amount that was raised over the $15,000 goal will be used solely for her education, the GoFundMe said.

“She is one of the most wonderful people I have met. Her mom has raised two amazing daughters on her own and their family was also hit by COVID. Mel is losing her job [public policy and community organizing in D.C.] at the end of June but she still has to pay back U of Missouri thousands of dollars before she can start law school in Fall. She is one of the co-founders of The Collective studio and taught yoga to public high schools in St. Louis,” Sid Mirgati wrote on the GoFundMe page.

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