Rihanna makes it to Harvard.
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the “Work” singer headed to Harvard University where she accepted the prestigious accolade of 2017 Humanitarian of the Year by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations for her charitable works both in her birthplace in Barbados and around the world.
“So I made it to Harvard,” said Rihanna of receiving the honor. “Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good.”
As fans may recall, not too long ago, she founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in honor of her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The organization was formed with the purpose of fighting “against injustice, inequality, and poverty,” and with the hope of providing “access to education and health” the “most powerful weapon,” the website states. According to the pop star, it was her upbringing that inspired her to pay it forward.
“I’m incredibly humbled to be acknowledged at this magnitude for something, in truth, I never wanted credit for,” she added. “I remember watching TV [as a child] and I would see commercials with children suffering in other parts of the world, the ones where you could give 25 cents and save a child’s life. I said, ‘When I grow up and get rich I’m gonna help kids all over the world.’ I just didn’t know I would be in the position to do that by the time I was a teenager.”
She even took a brief moment to school others on the importance of lending a helping hand to just one person. “We’re all human, and we all just want a chance,” Rihanna, 29, said. “A chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future, really. And at CLF [the Clara Lionel Foundation], our mission is to impact as many lives as possible, but it starts with just one. Just one. As I stare out into his beautiful room, I see optimism, I see hope, I see the future. I know that each and every one of you has the opportunity to help someone else. All you need to do is help one person and expect nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.”
While Ri Ri didn’t attend college herself, she also dropped a hint that she may return in the future. “The truth the little girl watching those commercials didn’t know, was that you don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian. You don’t have to be famous, or college-educated,” she joked. “I wish I was, especially today. I might come back!”
Previous winners of the award include actor James Earl Jones and activist Malala Yousafzai. Show Rihanna some congratulatory love in the comment section below.
Show Rihanna some congratulatory love in the comment section below.