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Posted: June 07, 2017

‘Blackish’ actress Yara Shahidi announces she's attending Harvard University

Actress Yara Shahidi announced on Instagram that she is attending Harvard University. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Fossil)
Astrid Stawiarz
Actress Yara Shahidi announced on Instagram that she is attending Harvard University. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Fossil)

By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

“Blackish” star Yara Shadidi is attending Harvard University after she takes a gap year.

The Huffington Post reported that on Tuesday the actress shared a photo on Instagram of her in a crimson Harvard hoodie.

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In March, it was reported that former first lady Michelle Obama wrote a recommendation letter for Shadidi, likely to go with her Harvard application, as the former first lady is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Related: Michelle Obama writes actress Yara Shahidi college recommendation letter

Obama’s oldest daughter, Malia, will also be attending the Cambridge, Massachusetts, university after she takes a gap year.

Shadidi has previously said she intends to double major in sociology and African-American studies.


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Michelle Obama writes actress Yara Shahidi college recommendation letter

Former first lady Michelle Obama visited a Washington, D.C., school on International Women's Day, and she also recently did something else to promote a teenage girl's education.  

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“Black-ish” star and social activist Yara Shahidi, 17, is currently undergoing the process of applying to colleges. Last fall, she told People magazine that she was applying to universities along the East and West coasts, including Harvard University — Obama’s alma mater. It is also where Malia Obama will attend when she finishes her gap year this fall. Vanity Fair reported Sunday that Shahidi has applied to four universities, including the Ivy League school.

Shahidi has a leg up on the competition thanks to the former first lady agreeing to write a letter of recommendation for the young star, who plans to double-major in African-American studies and sociology, W magazine reported.

The actress first met Obama when they shared the stage at Glamour’s “International Day of the Girl” event in October. Since then, Shahidi has met with Obama several times. She said Obama has been a source of encouragement.

“She is very amazing and such a supporter, which is something very surreal to say,” Shahidi said of the former first lady in the interview with W magazine.

Like Malia Obama, Shahidi plans to take a gap year, a choice that many criticized the former first daughter for making.

“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 of her decision to do a gap year. “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.”

A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on Jan 10, 2017 at 11:32pm PST

We, too, sing America #YESWECAN #YESWEDID A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on Jan 20, 2017 at 9:26am PST

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