ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

Last Tuesday, Rihanna shone bright like a diamond when she was named Harvard Humanitarian of the Year for all of her cultural impact and philanthropic work work work work work.

The Grammy Award-winning goddess attended a special ceremony at the prestigious university, where she was presented one of the highest accolades for her involvement in a host of charitable projects. Notably, Riri built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to accelerate breast cancer research in her home nation of Barbados.

In addition to this, as well as supporting the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project — which helps children access education in developing countries — she's also the founder of the Clara Lionel Foundation, providing support to Caribbean students attending colleges in the United States.

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After a number of guest speakers praised her for her phenomenal contributions, Rihanna took the podium to address the audience. And despite being visibly overwhelmed by the honor, the star went in for a full hair flip before bestowing upon us the swagger we all know and love her for, saying:

"So, I made it to Harvard."

Ri Ri then continued to explain what it was that brought her to philanthropy, harking back to a time when she was just 6 or 7-years-old and watching charity commercials that encouraged viewers to donate 25 cents to help others. She said:

"When I was five or six years old, I remember watching TV and I would see these commercials and I was watching other children suffer in other parts of the world and you know the commercials were [like], 'you can give 25 cents, save a child's life,' you know? And I would think to myself like, I wonder how many 25 cents I could save up to save all the kids in Africa. And I would say to myself you know, 'when I grow up, when I can get rich, I'mma 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."

Rihanna went on to claim that there was a humanitarian in each and every one of us. She said:

"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."

She then added that being a humanitarian didn't necessarily mean you had to be rich, have fame, or be college educated — "I mean, I wish I was," she joked. Finally, she concluded:

"It starts with your neighbor, the person right next to you, the person sitting next to you in class, the kid down the block in your neighborhood, you just do whatever you can to help in any way that you can. And today I want to challenge each of you to make a commitment to help one person: one organization, one situation that touches your heart. My grandmother always used to say if you've got a dollar, there's plenty to share. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. It was my honor."

Watch her full speech in the clip below and prepare to bow down to the eternal greatness that is Bad Gal Ri Ri:

If you could say one thing to Rihanna right now, what would it be?

'The Ellen Show' [Credit: Warner Bros. Television]
'The Ellen Show' [Credit: Warner Bros. Television]

(Source: Huffington Post)


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