My best friend, Leysa Cerswell, has been taking steps to make the world a better place since becoming, a few years ago, the communications coordinator for Free the Children, the “world’s largest network of children helping children through education.” In that time, I’ve done my part, too, by shining a light on oft-overlooked child celebrities, like then 15-year-old Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and onetime minor Jamie Campbell Bower. While Cerswell was helping build schoolhouses in Kenya, I was fighting for a table at the Chateau Marmont. While she was liaising with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, I was interviewing her holiness of hip-hop, Nicki Minaj, referred to in some circles as the Dolly Lama. We’ve both been soldiers for humanity, to be sure, but our professional paths had yet to cross. Until now.
This morning, Free the Children released a video featuring Academy Award frontrunner Natalie Portman, who announced the launch of their new initiative, The Power of a Girl. According to JustJared, “From now until May 1, young people aged 13-21 are encouraged to raise funds for Kisaruni, Free The Children’s new all-girls’ secondary school in Kenya. Finalists will be chosen in May and asked to share why they think it’s important to empower girls through education.” Watch the video below and get involved.