Yara Shahidi is best known for her acting work, though she is also an accomplished model and a keen activist. She’s certainly establishing a successful career, but does she come from a college background?
Yara Shahidi has a college education from the prestigious Harvard University. Former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote a letter of recommendation to the institution, encouraging them to accept Shahidi’s application.
Find out more about Yara Shahidi’s life and career, as well as her education, by reading on.
Who is Yara Shahidi?
Yara Shahidi was born in Minnesota in 2000. She hails from an entertainment background, with her mother an actress who has appeared in shows including ‘American Dad’ and ‘In the Motherhood’.
She has spoken out against xenophobia and explained more about her heritage. She is the product, she writes, of “Black and Iranian love.”
“Immigrants don’t threaten safety – stereotypical narratives that promote hate do,” she continued.
In high school, Shahidi says AP calculus was her least favorite subject. “I really love math,” she says, “But AP calculus, for me, was slightly torturous.”
Shahidi applied to several colleges, with each one of these accepting her application. At first, she spent some time deciding which would be best to attend, telling People magazine “My college plans are all up in the air, but I will choose within the next month.”
She didn’t reveal the full list of colleges she applied to, but ultimately, the star explained that she had selected the world-renowned Harvard University, and was planning to major in African American studies and sociology. She accepted that her college experience may not be that of a typical student, saying “I’m willing to have a more unorthodox college experience, but at a certain point I want to be on campus.”
Her route into college was certainly unorthodox, with a letter of recommendation from Michelle Obama accompanying her application to Harvard. Shahidi had worked with Obama previously on the ‘Let Girls Learn’ project, which strives to help adolescent girls across the globe get access to education.
The former First Lady is Harvard alumni herself, and her daughter Malia Obama also attended the college.
The star appeared well prepared for the work that her education would require, explaining “I want to study as much as possible.”
Shahidi’s career has taken off in recent years, with one of her key focuses being on activism. In 2018, Vogue described her as “The voice of a generation.”
As well as her work on the ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative, Shahidi launched her own program called ‘Eighteen x ‘18’. The idea is described as “A creative platform to engage [young people] to speak our truth, get active and vote!”
She has also been a speaker at Tory Burch’s Embrace Ambition Summit, which strives to challenge stereotypes. “Yara’s character, integrity, and intellect are matched by a deep sense of purpose, which is extraordinary to see in someone so young,” Tory Burch said of the Shahidi.
Besides activism, she is an accomplished model, appearing on the cover of Teen Vogue. In 2016, she partnered with Women Management, a modeling agency that has worked with Kate Moss, Jourdan ,and Fei Fei Sun.
She is perhaps most known for her role as an actress. Appearing firstly in commercials, she went on to gain a starring role in the comedy ‘Black-Ish’.
A major role in the show’s spinoff, ‘Grown-Ish’ followed.
She credits the actress and director Angela Bassett as an inspiration.
So, are there any career moments that the star is still waiting to tick off her wishlist? “I am obsessed with Marvel,” she says and explains that a superhero would be a dream role for her.