WATCH: Rihanna Receives a Humanitarian Award from Harvard, Flowers from an Adorable Little Boy
Rihanna accepted the Harvard Foundation’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award on Tuesday (Feb. 28, 2017) with an Ivy League hair flip.
The ANTI singer stepped up to the podium to address the crowd after a lineup of guest speakers spoke about her diligent philanthropic work throughout her years in the limelight.
“So, I made it to Harvard,” Rihanna said, tossing her ponytail over her shoulder with a laugh.
She went on to speak about how she knew she wanted to make a difference in developing nations from a very young age when she used to watch television commercials that stressed the significance of a mere 25-cent donation.
“I would say to myself, ‘When I grow up, and I can get rich, I’m gonna save kids all over the world,’” Rihanna recalled. “I just didn’t know I would be in the position to do that by the time I was a teenager.”
The singer encouraged the notion that charitable acts of kindness can still be impactful even if they don’t involve hefty financial donations.
“All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian,” she said. “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.”
Quickly, she added that she might just return to Harvard one day to get the full college experience.
Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program, which assists Caribbean students in attending U.S. universities, was one of her many philanthropic initiatives that qualified her for this honor. She also funded a state a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine in Barbados, her home country.
As an added bonus, Rihanna received a bouquet of flowers and bundle of kind words from a cute young boy at the end of her speech. Watch her speech and this surprise in the video below.