I have a lot of respect for celebrities who choose to further their education even after they have achieved stardom. I’ve said it about Emma Watson and I’ll even say it about James Franco (even though he might have gone a bit overboard). Whether they study acting or any other topic, it shows a desire to learn for learning’s sake, not to get a high-paying job or fulfill a post-high-school obligation. I imagine going to college must be an especially significant decision to make if you’re recognizable to the people on campus and potentially subject to ridicule or pranking or just being asked to sign autographs when you’re late for a class. So I’m especially impressed that America Ferrera decided it was worth it to finish her degree after starting college ten years ago.
Yesterday America proudly tweeted that she’ll be graduating from the University of Southern California this Friday.
I’m walking in my college graduation in 3 days from @uscdornsife! It’s finally happening! Took me 10 years, but it feels great.
— America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera) May 14, 2013
America will earn a bachelor’s degree in international relations from USC’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. According to the school’s website, America started college in 2002 but struggled with whether or not she should quit acting to pursue a different career path to enact change in the world. She ended up taking a leave of absence to pursue projects like Ugly Betty. She spoke to students about her decision last year:
“I always wanted to go to college and get my education although I always wanted to be an actor,” Ferrera told the students. “I never knew how those two things would work with each other and this was revealed to me in my first year of college here.”
America realized that she didn’t have to compromise her passion for acting to make positive changes after she spoke to one of her professors, David Andrus, who told her a story about how America’s film Real Women Have Curves helped him to better understand a young woman he was mentoring. This helped America understand that she didn’t have to give up that side of her interests to make a change.
I already admired America for her talents and her public persona, and this just makes me admire her more. You go, America! I’m talking about America Ferrera in this case, but go America the country as well! America hurray!
(Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com)