It’s not difficult for Rihanna to grab the spotlights.
The Barbados-born Grammy-winning singer has been dominating music charts since she hit the scene with her 2005 Music of The Sun album, which immediately catapulted her to the top 10 on the Billboard charts.
To date, Ri Ri as she is affectionately called in Barbados, has sold well over 200 million records and stands fourth behind Madonna, The Beatles and Michael Jackson with the most Top 10 hits on the Billboard Charts.
On Sunday, May 22, she beat out Adele, Drake, The Weeknd and Little Big Town to secure a Billboard Chart Achievement Award. Rhianna is only 28 years-old.
Now she has given her fans at home and across the Caribbean another reason to be proud of her with the announcement of a scholarship program to benefit students from seven countries including Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Guyana, Jamaica, or the U.S.
The scholarship is being coordinated by Clara Lionel Foundation, which Rhianna set up in 2012 in honor of her grandmother and grandfather, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite, with a goal “to improve the quality of life for communities in the areas of health, education, arts and culture.”
It offers between $5,000 to $50,000 to successful applicants who have been accepted into an undergraduate program at an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. for the 2016-2017 year. The grants, which may be used only for tuition expenses, can be extended over a three-year period as long as students maintain satisfactory academic performances.
Criteria for landing one of the scholarships hinge on students’ academic performances together with extra-curricular activities and leadership qualities, and 50 finalists will be chosen from what is expected to be an expansive field of applicants. Deadline for applications is June 10.
This is not the first major foray into the arena of giving for Rhianna. As an 18 year-old, she set up the Believe Foundation, which helped to provide medical, educational, financial and emotional support to terminally ill children.
In 2012, the Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital in Bridgetown benefitted from a $1.75 million donation, which helped to purchase radiotherapy medical equipment for what was later, named the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine.
About her recently announced scholarship program, Rhianna was quoted in USA Today saying: “To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor.” 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.”