President Obama has asked Colombian star Shakira to be part of his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
Shakira, who has devoted much time and effort to providing and expanding early childhood care and education, will join a group of mostly educators that includes Miami Dade College president Eduardo Padron and Francisco Cigarroa, Chancellor of the University of Texas system.
Shakira, 34, has long focused philanthropic efforts toward early childhood education.
"I believe that every child should have the right to follow their dreams and get an education," she says on her website. "Growing up in Colombia, I saw that education can be a child's way out of poverty and a way to fulfill his or her potential. It is a basic right, but too often poor children are shut out."
Shakira primary efforts are focused through her Barefoot Foundation, which she founded in 1995 and which operates schools and educational projects in Colombia, South Africa, and Haiti, feeding and educating approximately 6,000 children. In 2010, she collaborated with the World Bank and the Barefoot Foundation to establish an initiative that distributes educational and developmental programs for children across Latin America. In 2008, Shakira served as the Honorary Chair of the Global Campaign for Education's Global Action Week and she is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund since 2003, where she promotes the expansion and improvement of comprehensive early childhood care and education.
President Obama's Commission meets today (Oct. 6) and tomorrow at the White House. On Nov. 9, Shakira will be honored as the Person of the Year by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.