By: Symphony Webb

“You just do what you can to help in any way that you can.” — Rihanna

Superstar Rihanna received the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award of the Year Award from Harvard University, an honor presented to her by the university’s president on Tuesday night.

Since her rise to fame at the young age of 16, Rihanna has made many philanthropic efforts and contributions to her homeland of Barbados. That generosity earned her a standing ovation at the award ceremony.

Rihanna founded a nonprofit foundation in 2012, the Clara Lionel Global Scholarship Program, that was named for her grandparents. The program provides access to education and health to women in developing countries.

Rihanna opened up her speech with “So, I made it to Harvard….” as she flipped her long sleek ponytail and grinned. “I never thought I’d be able to say that in my life but it feels good.”

Rihanna said her passion for helping others started when she was just a kid, but she never thought that she would be able to do it by the time she was a teen.

After recognizing all of her foundations and organizations, she told the audience, “All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return; that is a humanitarian.”

She assured everyone listening that “you don’t have to be rich to help somebody,” and it starts with helping the person right next to you.

We are all proud of Rihanna and her wonderful contributions. Rihanna Navy stand up!

Check out her full speech.

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