Rihanna was recognized for her philanthropy and charitable work, honored with the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian of the Year award at Howard University on Tuesday (Feb. 28). The pop superstar was present at the ceremony on the Cambridge, Massachusetts institute, as she was presented the prestigious award by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. “So I made it to Harvard,” a smiling Rihanna jokingly started her speech before playfully flipping her long ponytail hair. “Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good.”

During her inspiring speech, the 28-year-old touched on always wanting to help others in need since she was a small girl. After praising the various charities and organizations she’s partnered with over the years, RiRi encouraged those in attendance to follow her lead in helping others.

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.”

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