On Tuesday night, during a ceremony at Harvard University, Rihanna accepted the Humanitarian of the Year award from the prestigious institution's Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. The ceremony also featured a speech from Rihanna.
During her oration, she said she developed a passion for helping people as a youngster after viewing those commercials you see from time-to-time about how a quarter-per-day can save a kid's life. "I would think to myself, 'I wonder how many 25 cents I could save up to save all the kids in Africa,'" she said. "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 then talked about the causes she's aided. Some of her notable charitable moments include funding the construction for a top-notch facility for treating breast cancer in her hometown of Bridgetown, Barbados, launching a scholarship for Caribbean high schoolers to attend American universities, and being an ambassador for a pair of organizations (the Global Partnership of Education and the Global Citizen Project) that help young women in developing countries find access to education.
She also encouraged the audience to give back as well. "All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian," she said. "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."
Check out the full speech above.