AceShowbiz - Lupita Nyong'o has surprised 40 students with $10,000 scholarships. During her appearance at NAACP's ACT-SO Awards on Sunday, July 17, the 39-year-old actress presented the scholarships to students who were part of the year-long programme aimed at high school students across the U.S., which promotes growth in subjects like business, visual arts, performing arts and culinary arts.
As reported by ABC, she said on stage, "Since I was a child, I have always had big dreams, and my education has played a huge part in helping me realise them. I've always loved learning and I believe that learners change the world." The 40 scholarships were funded through a partnership with cosmetic brand Lancome, which counts Lupita among their brand ambassadors.
She added, "I am so thrilled to join Lancome, on behalf of their Write Her Future Scholarship Fund, to award this incredible group of women with these game-changing scholarships."
Born to Kenyan parents, Dorothy Ogada Buyu and Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, Lupita previously hailed her mother and aunts as her "idols" growing up. "I grew up with a very strong and close family, so my idols were a lot of my relatives, especially my aunties and my mother," she revealed.
The Academy Award-winner then went on to cite classic films such as "The Sound of Music" and "The Color Purple" as memorable movies from her youth, noting that seeing "dark-skinned" women like herself act had a "big impact" on her childhood. She said, "When it comes to film and TV, I was madly in love with 'The Sound of Music'. Fraulein Maria [played by Julie Andrews] was my idea of the perfect governess I wish I had. And then, of course, 'The Color Purple'. I've talked about this a lot but [that movie] had a really big effect on me."
"Seeing Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg and Akosua Busia, all these actors who look like me and doing this thing called acting, had a big impact on me and what was possible for me in the world of entertainment for someone like me," she continued.