WASHINGTON, DC - President Obama has appointed Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, the Colombian singer better known around the world as Shakira, to the presidential commission on education for Hispanics. She was officially handed the position during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Shakira, who has long been involved with educational issues in her homeland through her Barefoot Foundation, admits she is flattered to have been approached for the role and insists the position is a "great honour" for her.
Speaking at the event, the singer told the audience, I am thankful to President Obama and I am humbled that my philanthropic experience could be helpful in some measure and can be used to amplify the message and work of the President and this Commission. I hope that through my appointment to this commission, I will be able to share what I’ve learned through the 15 years I have been involved in the education of Latino children. I am sure you will agree with me that race and ethnicity shouldn’t be factors in the success of any child.”
"The Obama administration has made a point to improve Latino education and, as I spoke to the President previously, I am extremely passionate about working with the White House to plan an early childhood education summit in the coming year... "Thank you again, this is a great honour for me, I am so happy to be here."
President Obama appointed to the same commission Nancy Navarro, the only Hispanic member of the Montgomery County Council and a former Montgomery Board of Education president. Others joining Shakira include community activist Adrian Pedroza and Arizona's School District Superintendent Kent P. Scribner.
The commission advises Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on issues of
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