There aren't many 17-year-olds who can ask a former first lady to write their college recommendation, but Yara Shahidi isn't your average teen. The 2017 TODAY Style Hero isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in or to own her personal style. We can't wait to see what she does next!
Applying for college is a stressful, difficult process. The applications, the entrance exams, finding the right person to write recommendation letters.
Actress Yara Shahidi has that last criterion under control. The 17-year-old “Black-ish” star simply asked her friend and "supporter" Michelle Obama to write one for her.
Shahidi originally met the former first lady when the pair shared the stage at Glamour’s “International Day of the Girl” event. The young actress, social activist and founder of a mentoring group for young women has since met with Obama several other times, and even received a “go get ’em, tiger” back rub from her before Shahidi took her AP exams.
“She is very amazing and such a supporter, which is something very surreal to say,” Shahidi told W magazine.
Last fall, the actress told People magazine she planned to apply to colleges along both the east and west coasts, including Harvard University, where Obama attended law school. The Ivy League college also will be where the former first lady's older daughter, Malia, will attend school in the fall after she finishes a gap year.
Shahidi also plans on taking a year off before starting her first semester, despite some of the criticism Malia Obama received for doing so.
“I feel like what’s interesting is I know so many people that are deferring. It’s more than to just roam around or just sit down and stare at a wall, but it will also give me an opportunity to work,” Shahidi told People.
“I’ve been working more than half of my life and that’s always been balanced with school and all of the other responsibilities, so to have a year to focus on work and to focus on specified interests will be nice before I pick a career and choose what I want to study and my life path.”