Singer Rihanna has been honoured with the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year award.
The 29-year-old singer was honoured by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations for her work in her native island of Barbados and the charities she has founded over the years, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In a ceremony held on Tuesday, Rihanna thanked the university for the honour and delivered an inspiring speech.
“So I made it to Harvard. Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good,” Rihanna said as she jokingly flipped her hair.
“I wonder how many 25 cents I could save up to save all the kids in Africa.’ And I would say to myself, ‘When I grow up and I get rich, I’m gonna save kids all over the world.’ I just didn’t know I would be in a position to do that by the time I was a teenager,” she added explaining that she has had a passion for helping people since she was a young girl watching commercials about how a quarter could help save a child’s life.
Rihanna also encouraged the students at the ceremony and everyone listening to join her in her selfless contributions.
“All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian. What that little girl watching those commercials didn’t know is that you don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian, you don’t have to be rich to help somebody.
“You don’t have to be famous, you don’t even have to be college-educated. But it starts with your neighbor. … You just do whatever you can to help in any way that you can,” she said.