Belfast Telegraph

Rihanna shares collegiate dreams during Harvard University acceptance speech

The pop star has wanted to be a humanitarian since she was five years old.

Rihanna shared her dreams of attending college as she accepted her 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award at Harvard University on Tuesday (28Feb17).

The Grammy-winning Diamonds singer was saluted for her philanthropy, and while receiving her trophy, she praised the benefits of charity.

“You don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian," the stunning star said during her speech, according to PageSix. "You don’t have to be rich to help somebody. You don’t gotta be famous (sic). You don’t even have to be college-educated."

As the crowd roared with laughter, Rihanna stressed pursuing a degree in higher education is something she only hopes to accomplish in the years ahead.

"I mean, I wish I was (college educated) … especially today," she insisted, "It’s true, I might come back (to school).”

Rihanna has dedicated a lot of time to charity in recent years - she donated nearly $2 million (£1.6 million) to the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados in 2012 in honour of her late grandmother. She also created the Clara Lionel Foundation scholarship programme, which awards students from the Caribbean who attend university in the U.S. with scholarships. In addition to this, she has been hosting her annual Diamond Ball fundraising event since 2014, raising more than $5 million (£4 million).

She also supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, an organisation that provides children with access to education in more than 60 developing countries.

“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,” she said at Harvard. "I would think to myself... I wonder how many 25 cents I could save up to save all of the kids in Africa and I would say to myself, ‘When I grow up and get rich, I’m going to save kids all over the world'. I just didn’t know I’d be in the position to do that when I was a teenager."

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