NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sallie Mae, the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company – in partnership with educator-turned hip-hop artist Dee-1 – today paid off $10,000 in student loans for Nick Sywyj, 23, of Kent, Ohio, the winner of the 2017 #MissionFinish contest.
The #MissionFinish contest asked Sallie Mae customers to creatively share how paying off student loans would change their lives for the better. Entries were judged based on concept and originality, style, creativity, and grammar. Sywyj was selected from a pool of more than 3,500 online submissions for his creative rhyme titled, “Work to Live vs. Love Your Work,” about how personal adversity helped inform his decision to pursue a career that gives him purpose.
“I am overjoyed and extremely thankful to Sallie Mae to be selected as the 2017 #MissionFinish winner,” said Sywyj. “For me, this is bigger than paying off my student loans; it will give me the freedom to pursue my passion to improve peoples’ lives and help them become their most confident selves.”
A native of Pittsburgh, Sywyj earned a bachelor of science in chemical and biomolecular engineering from the University of Notre Dame and currently works as a chemical process engineer. This summer, however, Nick plans to follow his dream to become an orthodontist.
“The joy and sense of accomplishment you feel when paying off your student loan is an experience everyone should have,” said Dee-1. “Through my partnership with Sallie Mae and the #MissionFinish contest, we are able to pay it forward and help individuals like Nick experience that same joy I did when I paid off my loans.”
The #MissionFinish contest continues Sallie Mae’s collaboration with Dee-1, the hip-hop artist behind the viral hit song, “Sallie Mae Back.” Dee-1 and Sallie Mae also recently completed the second “Dee-1’s Knowledge for College” tour, which visited high schools across the country to discuss financial literacy and planning for college. Dee-1 and Sallie Mae also released the “Pay Off Your Student Loans Playlist,” a set of tips, tools, and resources to help students understand and manage student loan payments.
“Our partnership with Dee-1 raises awareness and educates students and families about planning for college and the benefits and importance of responsible student loan management,” said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “In addition to awarding more than $190,000 in scholarships and loan repayment assistance, we are supporting dreams, instilling hope, and inspiring students and current customers from across the country to follow their passions.”
For more information about saving, planning, and paying for college, visit SallieMae.com.
Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.