Jelly Roll Promises To Pay Young Fan’s College Tuition: ‘I’m Going To Give You The Opportunity To Change Your Life’

The 18-year-old says she was “in shock” over his generous offer.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

July 1, 2024


9:50 am

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Jelly Roll; Photo by Andrew Wendowski, Joy Gadalla; Photo Provided

Jelly Roll made a life-changing offer to one lucky fan during a recent show in Nashville, TN. 

On Monday, June 17, the megastar held a free concert on the Skydeck on Broadway, which 18-year-old Joy Gadalla decided to attend as a “much-needed” night with her cousin after spending the last month caring for her grandmother in the hospital. She told local Nashville news station, WKRN, that she waited in line for about five hours to watch Jelly Roll perform and when he finally hit the stage, she was standing just feet from him in the packed-out crowd. 

After delivering his first song of the evening, the “Save Me” singer spotted the fan because of the sign she was holding up on her phone. 

“I took like a black picture and then wrote, ‘Please pay my tuition,’ and just held it up,” she recalled.

Joy Gadalla; Photo Courtesy of Joy Gadalla
Joy Gadalla; Photo Courtesy of Joy Gadalla

“We will help you get through school”

Jelly Roll can be heard reading the words aloud to the audience while pointing to Gadalla. In that moment, the country singer made the decision to use his platform to help this young woman take the next major step in her life by offering to help with her college tuition. 

“I’m going to give you the opportunity to change your life right here on this date,” he said, earning screams of excitement from the crowd. 

He went on to say that someone from his team would contact her to get to know a bit more about her situation, including what college she attends and what her GPA is. 

Gadalla’s emotional reaction was caught by fans as she heard Jelly Roll promise, “We will help you get through school.”

“I was just in shock, in incredible shock,” she said of the moment.  

@joy.gadalla #jellyroll #nashville #fyp🤍 ♬ original sound – L E N A

A Want To Do More In Life

The 18-year-old told the news station that her family moved to the U.S. from Egypt to live the American dream, and much like Jelly Roll, she was also raised in Antioch, TN. She recently graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA and admitted she has been learning online since seventh grade due to bullying. 

Seeing Jelly Roll accomplish so much after having such a difficult upbringing has motivated her to want to do more with her life. So just days before the Nashville concert, she took the first step in achieving her goals and enrolled at Belmont University with plans to one day become a criminal justice lawyer. 

However taking this leap meant that Gadalla had to face a major financial roadblock as she wasn’t sure how she would afford her dream. 

“I was crying, I was stressing, I took a moment to breath and pray, and I knew that everything was going to be okay,” Gadalla said, recalling the moment reality started to set in. “I knew God was going to take care of everything.”

Her prayers were answered the night of the concert, thanks to Jelly Roll’s incredible generosity. Although she is still waiting on the details of just how much he will be helping with her college tuition, Gadalla said his team has been in touch with her. Regardless of the amount he chooses to contribute, she says anything will be a “blessing” as she anticipates tuition to be around $40,000 a year.

Jelly Roll Has Impacted Gadalla’s Life In More Ways Than One

Jelly Roll didn’t know it at the time, but this wouldn’t be the first time he has greatly impacted Gadalla’s life. She also shared with the news station that watching his own story unfold and seeing the changes he has made to get him to where he is today inspired her to embark on her journey to sobriety. 

“I am a year and seven months sober,” Gadalla shared with pride. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.