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Honoree Yara Shahidi at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 23, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Essence)


Michelle Obama wrote college recommendation for ‘Black-ish’ star Yara Shahidi

March 13, 2017

Like many 17-year-old students faced with encroaching graduation, Black-ish star Yara Shahidi has started planning for college. She wants to major in African American studies and sociology, and has applied to four different schools — including Harvard, Vanity Fair reports. With a 4.6 GPA and a hit series under her belt, Shahidi probably didn’t need to do much to pad her application, but her chances were surely improved thanks to a letter of recommendation written by none other than Michelle Obama.

Speaking to W Magazine, Shahidi revealed that the former first lady “wrote her a college recommendation, and gave her a ‘go get ’em, tiger’ back-rub before Shahidi took her AP exams.” Shahidi has been an advocate for a number of causes, including women’s leadership and diversity in Hollywood, and has appeared onstage alongside Obama.

“She is very amazing and such a supporter,” Shahidi told W, “which is something very surreal to say.”

Last year, Shahidi appeared onstage at the Women in the World New York Summit for a discussion about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and the medium that had emerged as the antidote to Hollywood’s lack of diversity on the big screen. Watch the video of the complete panel, moderated by ABC News anchor Juju Chang, below. And for details and ticket purchases for this year’s Summit, click here.

Read more at Vanity Fair and W Magazine.