Special Message By
Yara Shahidi is an actress, model, activist and breakout star of ABC’s Emmy- and Golden Globe- nominated comedy series “black-ish.” She stars as popular teen Zoey Johnson, an ambitious, technologically infatuated high school student. Last spring, Freeform announced the “black-ish” spin-off “grown-ish,” starring Shahidi, which will explore Zoey’s transition into adulthood as well as issues facing both students and administrators in the world of higher education.
Yara has been awarded a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, a Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role and, most recently, listed as one of TIME Magazine’s annual 30 Most Influential Teens, for her television contributions and humanitarianism.
As a young scholar, Yara has combined her love for education and empowerment through the formation of Yara’s Club, a partnership with The Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TYWLS) in New York. Yara’s Club is a bi-monthly digital meet-up comprised of high school students that discuss societal issues, self-improvement and higher education. Yara served as a spokesperson for DoSomething.Org and 3M’s STEM campaign, was spotlighted in The New York Times, Variety’s “Youth Impact” and “Next Big Thing” issues, and was named number three on the Celebs to Watch for DoSomething.Org’s 2016 Celebs Gone Good. The standout teen was awarded the Daily Point of Light Award from the Points of Light organization in Detroit, honored at Essence Magazine’s 10th anniversary Black Women in Hollywood Awards and honored with the BET’s Young Star award at the 2017 BET Awards.
Yara recently graduated with honors from The Dwight School in New York and will attend Harvard University, where she will double major in sociology and African-American studies.