Former Fugees frontman and philanthropist, Wyclef Jean, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury on Sunday (May 23), thanks to his ongoing humanitarian efforts to Haiti.
According to the BVNewsWire, Jean — who can now be referred to as Dr. Jean — delivered a commencement speech, titled “Vision for the Future,” to the graduating class of 2010 and was presented a check from the university in the amount of $9,500 for his organization, Yéle Haiti.
The popular musician told the tale of his upbringing in Haiti, where as a child had to “ride a donkey to school” and stressed the importance of perseverance.
“I lived in a one-room shack. When I came to America, I didn’t speak a word of English,” Jean said. “Today I am able to travel the world, reach people with my music, work on behalf of my native Haiti and even speak at a college commencement.”
Before concluding his inspiring speech, he challenged WCSU’s class of 2010 to have a vision for the future and embark on their dreams.
“Create a vision based on your specific gifts, talents and tools. There is greatness in simply being you and using your skill to do something with your vision — and to put your personal plan in motion.”
You can read his full speech over at HuffingtonPost.com.
Wyclef founded Yele Haiti in 2005, and in recent months, has become one of the leading organizations helping in relieft efforts in Haiti following last the devastating earthquake earlier this year.
For more info, visit Yele.org.