President Obama picks Shakira to advisory commission

Oct 6, 2011 at 8:02 a.m. ET

President Barack Obama named pop star Shakira a member of his advisory commission on Hispanic education on Wednesday, for her continued work to aid children in Latin America.

Shakira

It was a great day for Columbian pop star Shakira on Wednesday. President Obama named her a member of his advisory commission to help children in Latin America.

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, her given name, founded the Barefoot Foundation, which helps set up schools and education programs in Columbia, South Africa and Haiti.

Ricky Martin and Shakira work together in their philanthropic efforts>>

It was just last year when Shakira joined the World Bank to set up a program to foster education for children in Latin America. She also is working hard for developmental programs to help these children as well.

Along with Shakira, Obama named Nancy Navarro, Adrian Pedroza and Kent Scribner to the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

This particular commission was created by the President last year. Its goal is to continue to further access to education for Hispanic students in the U.S.

Said President Obama, "I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

Besides her singing career, Shakira is an honored philanthropist. She founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation in 1995, a Colombian charity that caters to the poorer children of the region. She is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is one of their global representatives. In 2006, Shakira was honored at a UN ceremony for her Pies Descalzos Foundation. She then served as Honorary Chairperson for Action Week 2008, which generated awareness about the Education for All Act. Shakira was ranked at number 48 of the top 50 most charitable celebrities by OK! Magazine.

In March of 2010, Shakira was awarded a medal by the UN International Labor Organization in recognition for being, as stated by UN Labor Chief Juan Somavia, "A true ambassador for children and young people. For quality education and social justice."

Photo Credit: WENN

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