Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Shakira appointed to education board by President Obama

shakira.jpg
shakira-2.jpg
rexfeatures_838059br.jpg

She's known the world over for her incredible hip-swivelling moves and unusual song lyrics, but Shakira's talents extend well beyond a dexterous body and ability to smash the Billboard 100.

The Grammy award-winning star has spent the past 16 years reaching out to children in poverty in her native Colombia and other regions. Now she adds another bow to her arrow, with a prestigious role on Barack Obama's advisory board on education for Hispanics.

Obama named Shakira - or Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, as she is formally known - to the committee yesterday (5 October), along with three other people.

It is hoped the singer will be able to use her extensive knowledge of aid work and working with children to help America's estimated 11 million Hispanic public school students in achieving academic success.

According to White House figures, only around half of this group finish their High School diplomas on time, and those that do complete it are half as likely to be prepared for college as their peers.

Shakira will now join other members of the committee in advising Obama and US education secretary Arne Duncan on ways to turn this situation around.

A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Shakira set up the Barefoot Foundation in 1995. The charity helps around 6,000 children with schools and educational projects in Colombia, South Africa, and Haiti.

In 2005, she became a founding member of Latin America in Solidarity Action, a coalition of artists and business leaders seeking to promote integrated early childhood public policies.

In her UN role, the 34-year-old promotes the expansion and improvement of comprehensive early childhood care and education across the world.

Referring to the appointment of Shakira and the others named with her, Obama said: "I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

Related

Best-closing-lines.jpg

The best 100 closing lines from books

Rihanna-Armani-Jeans-2.jpg

First look: Rihanna's Armani video

hero-ketchup.jpg

10 unusual food bans

More

All the best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From a star-studded dinner party to Serena Williams’ sweet mother-daughter snap

by Nicola Colyer
22 Sep 2017

Justin Trudeau reveals his surprising feminist inspiration

Bromance brewing?

by Susan Devaney
21 Sep 2017

Some people only just realised that Rihanna’s real name isn’t Rihanna

Erm, did we not all know this already?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

This is how Salma Hayek is helping Mexico’s earthquake victims

And how you can too

by Moya Crockett
21 Sep 2017

Emma Stone's childhood drawing of her anxiety is so relatable

“I’m bigger than my anxiety”

by Susan Devaney
21 Sep 2017

Twitter was not impressed by Melania Trump’s anti-bullying UN speech

“If Melania Trump really wants to fight cyberbullying, she should just change Donald's WiFi password.”

by Moya Crockett
21 Sep 2017

8-year-old bug enthusiast defies bullies to co-author scientific paper

Sophia Spencer was mocked for her love of bugs – but she’s now a published expert

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Shania Twain is touring the UK: here’s everything you need to know

2018 is shaping up nicely

by Amy Swales
20 Sep 2017

Why Avril Lavigne is the ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search online

Think twice before clicking on that link.

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Serena Williams writes an emotional open letter to her mother

“You are one of the strongest women I know”

by Susan Devaney
20 Sep 2017