Last week, Rihanna was named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year for her philanthropic efforts in oncology and breast cancer treatment. She also received recognition for the new Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program, which gives help to Caribbean and South American students attending universities in the US. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the singer visited the university campus to accept the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award.
The more inspiring portion of her speech came later. The singer shared her story of what sparked her philanthropic interests, recalling being impacted by TV commercials of children less fortunate than her living in other parts of the world. “And I would say to myself you know, ‘When I grow up, when I can get rich, I will 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,” she said, as ET reported. “What the 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.”