Yara Shahidi is just like any other American teenager; she runs a Tumblr blog, stresses about Advanced Placement exams, and is the process of applying to various colleges. However, a little help from former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama just made all of this a little bit easier on the star of ABC’s hit sitcom Black-ish.
— Yara shahidi (@YaraShahidi) March 13, 2017
A profile on the actress from W Magazine revealed that Obama wrote a college recommendation letter for Shahidi. The two met back in October of 2016 at Glamour Magazine’s International Day of the Girl event, where they discussed girls’ education, self-esteem, and perceptions of strong women. Since then, Obama has been a strong supporter of Shahidi in all of her endeavors, even giving her “a ‘go get ’em tiger’ pat on the back” before she took her AP exams according to W.
Shahidi also announced that she is taking a gap year before beginning her college education, similar to Obama’s own daughter. She told PEOPLE:
“I know when Malia Obama announced [she was deferring], she got a lot of slack, but I feel like 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… 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.”
Other than Obama’s alma mater Harvard University, Shahidi has not specified what schools she applied to. However, Glamour reported that she is currently interested in double majoring in African American studies and sociology.