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Rihanna receives Humanitarian Award!

Hannah Calver, Staff writer

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As one of my favorite artists I am very excited by the news of Rihanna receiving a Humanitarian award from Harvard University. From forever reaching the top of the charts recently with a new track featuring the rapper Future called, Selfish to then walking the catwalk alongside Karl Lagerfeld, it just goes to show Rihanna really is a woman of many talents as well as for what she has achieved to receive this award.

“All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.” —Rihanna.

On Tuesday, February 28, Harvard University named Rihanna their Humanitarian of the Year. The Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award, named after Rev. Peter J. Gomes who is a professor and minister at Harvard’s Memorial Church, honored Rihanna’s monetary contributions to breast cancer treatments, scholarships for college students living in the Caribbean, and providing education to children in many developing countries around the globe. She was also recognized for being an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness, and promotes regular HIV testing and disease prevention.

Now, Rihanna joins numerous other prominent recipients of the award, such as Lionel Richie, James Earl Jones, Tommy Hilfiger, Sharon Stone, and Martin Luther King, Sr.

“I’m incredibly humbled to be acknowledged at this magnitude for something, in truth, I never wanted credit for,” Rihanna told the crowd. “I remember watching TV 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.”

Looking chic in a gray, off-the-shoulder tweed dress and over-the-knee gray boots with her hair swept back, Rihanna challenged the crowd of students and fans to make a difference in their own lives.

“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.”

Rihanna started CLF in 2012 in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The organization funds education, health, and emergency response programs, and seeks to improve the life of young people around the world.

And while she didn’t attend college herself, Rihanna hinted that there’s always the possibility she’ll pursue further education.

“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,” Rihanna said with a laugh. “I wish I was, especially today. I might come back!”

Before the big event, Rihanna went on a tour of the university and had lunch at Henrietta’s Table in the Charles Hotel. And according to the University staff, the Barbadian singer blended in with the students quite well.

I can only hope for more people to be like Rihanna in helping others and to also believe that you can never have ‘too much going on’ to make a difference to someone else’s day who is of less advantage. Whether it is a small gesture or large anything counts.

 

 

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The Award Winning Newspaper of Mercy College
Rihanna receives Humanitarian Award!