Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi and her family were recently awarded the Uplift Award by the Coalition For At-Risk-Restoring Youth (CARRY) during a benefit brunch held on Sunday, November 18, according to a report from the Hollywood Reporter.
The actress was unable to attend the event due to school obligations. While accepting the award on behalf of her family, Keri Shahidi, Yara’s mother, explained that her daughter is close to finals and had to attend a Sunday class to prepare. Yara, who received a letter of recommendation from Michelle Obama, is currently enrolled at Harvard University.
Despite being busy with her acting career, Yara said she hopes to have as much of a normal college experience as possible.
“I want to have as much of a college experience as possible,” she said, according to E! News. “That’s why I decided to apply in the first place.” That clearly includes attending classes on the weekend to get ready for finals. Still, the 18-year-old actress managed to record and send in a speech, which was then played at the event.
“Everyone in our generation is worthy of the opportunities and worthy of the resources and support necessary to thrive,” she said.
The brunch was held at Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills and will benefit programs supporting foster kids in the greater Los Angeles area. The coalition was founded by dermatologist Dr. Pearl Grimes and is focused on providing at-risk youth with scholarships, social skills, and dermatological services.
Grimes believes having healthy skin will improve the overall self-esteem and will, therefore, make adapting to change a bit easier for the kids she works with.
Black-ish star Jennifer Lewis, who plays Yara’s grandmother Ruby Johnson, was also in attendance and took a moment to praise her co-star.
“She’s amazing, I mean come on, she’s one of the most intelligent, young millennials we have, one of the most beautiful, one of the most talented, she’s everything,” Lewis told THR.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s president, very soon.”
Yara is getting ready for Season 2 of her hit Freeform TV show, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. After spending an entire season trying to figure out which guy she belonged with, Yara’s character, Zoe, finally makes a decision in the season’s finale. The second season will explore her new relationship along with all the highs and lows of college.
Grown-ish will return on Wednesday, January 2, at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.