It’s refreshing to see celebrities setting a good example for kids when stars are so often known for succumbing to the trappings of fame. Addiction, materialism and egoism often seem to go hand-in-hand with success. The following stars, however, show that activism, education and charity are key to setting a good example for the next generation.
Thanks to her role as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series, Emma Watson was Hollywood’s highest-paid actress at 19-years-old. Instead of losing her head like many starlets who achieve early success, she decided to invest her money in education, enrolling atBrownUniversityinProvidence,Rhode Island. Although she has enough money to never work again, 21-year-old Watson says she made the decision to pursue post-secondary education because “learning keeps me motivated.”
Don’t mistake his laid back surfer vibe for laziness. This 47-year-old actor opts for personal growth over personal profit. In the mid-‘90s, Reeves turned down a role in “Speed 2: Cruise Control” to explore his thespian side in a small theater production of Hamlet inWinnipeg,Manitoba,Canada. One of the highest-paid actors inHollywood, Reeves donates millions of his fortune to charities, including PETA, Stand Up To Cancer and SCORE (Spinal Cord Opportunities for Rehabilitation Endowment.) Reeves is also reported to have given millions to each costume and special effects person who worked with him on the “Matrix” movies as a gesture of gratitude.
As the first female head writer for “Saturday Night Live,” 41-year-old actress and author, Tina Fey, is a great role model for women, both professionally and personally. Fey has sustained a solid marriage since 2001 with husband, Jeff Richmond and juggles work with motherhood, raising two young daughters. She also works on behalf of a number of charities, including Autism Speaks, Mercy Corps, Love Our Children USA, and Light the Night Walk (on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society).
George Clooney happens to be one of the most charitable people inTinselTown. Along with famous friends, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Don Cheadle, Clooney founded Not On Our Watch: an organization that’s donated millions to stopping genocide inSudan. The 50-year-old actor also serves as a member ofUnited Way’s Board of Trustees and works with Bono’s ONE campaign to fight poverty.
Bono’s role-model status starts at home. As one of the few rock stars to sustain a long-term relationship, he’s been married to his wife, Alison Hewson since 1982. Bono’s been criticized as having a “messiah complex” for giving too much – his ever-expanding list of charitable causes includes third-world debt relief, AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Instead of “an eye for an eye,” the 51-year-old rock-tivist has declared himself a proponent of grace and forgiveness over karma.
Singer and songwriter Alicia Keys uses her music to help numerous causes by performing in various charity benefits and donating proceeds from her record sales to charity. The 31-year-old singer co-founded the non-profit organization, Keep a Child Alive, which helps victims of HIV and AIDS inAfrica. Keys, who graduated valedictorian, is also an advocate of education, supporting Frum tha Ground Up: an organization that funds scholarships for children and teens.
In addition to being a sought-after actor, 31-year-old Ryan Gosling is also a social activist. He visited easternCongoin 2010 with the Enough Project to help with relief efforts and has raised awareness of the cause by shooting videos and writing op-ed pieces about the atrocities he witnessed. Gosling also supports PETA and volunteered with cleanup and disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina. Gosling, who was bullied as a child, is also known to stick up for the underdog – he once broke up a random fight on the streets ofNew York City, but was embarrassed by the praise he received for it.
Which celebrity do you think sets the best example for today’s youth?
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