For years, Rihanna has used the Clara Lionel Foundation to help make the world a better place for everyone by donating to charities and helping foster more community resources. As a result of all of her hard work, she was recently named Harvard’s 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award.
“So, I made it to Harvard,” the singer said to a room full of fans in Cambridge. “Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good.”
As part of her acceptance speech, Rihanna talked about how she never actually wanted credit for her humanitarian work and is grateful to know that she could use her network to help others. She also admit that she used to believe one could only be a humanitarian with wealth or fame, which is something she now knows isn’t always the case.
“We’re all human,” she said. “We all just want a chance, a chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future, really. At CLF [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 this 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, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.”
If Rihanna’s amazing work in the community is something you’re unfamiliar with, Harvard went down the list of her accomplishments last week when they announced that she would be receiving the award.
“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” said Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter. “She has also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program [named for her grandmother and grandfather] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, a multiyear campaign that will provide children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.”