On Tuesday, Rihanna accepted Harvard University’s 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award and delivered a speech that was inspiring with a hint of attitude — in true Bad Gal fashion. “So I made it to Harvard,” she opened with a hair flip. “Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good.”
Honored for her efforts in improving cancer treatment in her home country of Barbados and for setting up a college scholarship fund benefitting students in the Caribbean with her Clara Lionel Foundation, the superstar touched on her humanitarian beginnings, remembering the commercials seeking 25-cent donations to benefit children in need: “I would say to myself, ‘When I grow up, and I can get rich, I’m gonna save 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.”
“All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian. People make it seem way too hard, man. The truth is – and what the little girl watching those commercials didn’t know – is that you don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian, to help somebody. You don’t have to be famous. You don’t have to be college-educated.”
Watch Rihanna’s speech above (at the 1:14:00), and read why we think she’s a true role model here.