Image: Harvard.edu

Rihanna is, undoubtedly, one of the world's most famous people. And while her impact on the world of entertainmnet has been incredible, her impact as a philanthropist just got her honored at Harvard.

Honored for her work in her native island of Barbados (late last year she championed an effort with Prince Harry of Wales for HIV/AIDS testing awareness) and in the charities she has founded -- including the Clara Lionel Foundation, an initiative that provides college scholarships to foreign students, and her annual Diamond Ball which raises money for cancer research -- the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations presented her with the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award. In a ceremony held Tuesday (Feb. 28), Rihanna accepted the honor and delivered an inspiring speech, starting off with a certified humble brag.

"So I made it to Harvard," Rihanna began as she jokingly flipped her hair. "Never thought I'd be able to say that in my life, but it feels good."

As she continued, Rihanna touched on the evolution of her desire to give back after watching 'Save The Children' commercials on TV during her youth. "I would think to myself, '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."

After touching on all of the organizations she has since started and helped with, Rihanna touched on the importance of the action, not the monetary contribution.

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.

Watch Rihanna receive her humanitarian award and see her full speech below:


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