By James Pleasant
Pop megastar Rihanna wants students around the world to achieve their full potential as global citizens. As a result, she and the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) – which she founded in 2012 to honor her grandparents – launched a global scholarship program to provide students around the world with full-ride college scholarships.
The CLF will award students in Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Guyana, Jamaica and the United States between $5,000-$50,000 in scholarship money, which will be renewed until the completion of the students’ bachelor’s degrees. Applications for the 2016-2017 school year will be accepted until June 10, and winners will be announced in August.
“To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor,” said Rihanna. “Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this.”
All applicants must have already been accepted into a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited four-year college in order to qualify for the scholarship. Fifty students will be selected for the 2016-2017 school year, and qualification will be based on academic performance, leadership, work experience and an essay. Students must maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average in order to qualify for renewal of the scholarship.
The “Work” singer is no slouch when it comes to philanthropy. In 2008, Rihanna helped raise awareness for HIV/AIDS through H&M’s Fashion Against AIDS project. In 2012, she donated $1.75 million to Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital in her hometown of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Other foundations and campaigns Rihanna supports include MusiCares, Red Cross, Hope for Haiti, Live Earth, Grammy Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association.