Shakira to Join the Obama Administration in Education Role

Shakira is officially part of President Obama's Administration. The White House announced Oct. 4 that Obama will appoint the Colombian superstar to his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

“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," Obama said of Shakira and three other selectees. "I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

The 34-year-old Grammy winner, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, is no stranger to activism. In 1995, she started the charitable organization Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Foundation) -- named after one of her earliest hit singles -- to help fund schools in her native Colombia, as well as Haiti and South Africa.

Shakira is also a founding member of Latin America in Solidarity Action and became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund in 2003.

"This is a tremendous honor for me. I am humbled that my philanthropic experience could be helpful or that my voice can be used to amplify the message and work of the President and this Commission," she told The Huffington Post.  "Latino youth are the fastest-growing group in America, yet more Latino children are living in poverty -- 6.1 million in 2010 -- than children of any other racial or ethnic group. As I have seen in my own Foundation work, the only road out of poverty is education."

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