Advertisement

Yara Shahidi Praises Her Mother for 'Making Sure That I Experienced Balance' amid Hollywood Stardom (Exclusive)

"She just made sure that I lived a very full life outside of entertainment ... and I think it just provided kind of a grounding force for me,” the 'grown-ish' star told PEOPLE of her mother Keri

<p>Stefanie Keenan/Getty</p>

Stefanie Keenan/Getty

Yara Shahidi credits her mother for keeping her grounded.

The 23-year-old grown-ish star, who received the “Max Mara Face of the Future” award at the 2023 WIF Honors, showered praise on mother Keri Shahidi for helping her navigate stardom at such a young age.

“All credit to my mother there because she helped me just make sure that I experienced balance in my life,” Yara told PEOPLE on the red carpet.

The actress said her mother made sure that she “pursued” the things she “loved” and sought other goals outside the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.

“I think she just made sure that I lived a very full life outside of entertainment and that I had hobbies and interests in school, and I think it just provided kind of a grounding force for me,” Yara explained.

“Even going to college, as absolutely insane as that schedule was, it was really necessary for me to have something else outside of this world,” she added.

Related: Yara Shahidi Says She Has a 'Sisterhood Vibe' with Fellow Dior Ambassador Anya Taylor-Joy (Exclusive)

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty</p>

Jon Kopaloff/Getty

One hobby the actress picked up when she was young: crochet. Though she admitted that she had “not evolved at all” in her ability since learning how to do it in the seventh grade, she said she still gets out her needles from time to time.

“I'm currently working on a rectangle,” Yara shared. “It's going really well, but honestly, I feel like so much of my academic life is where I got to explore my different curiosities, my love of history.”

She continued, “I really spent a whole year studying one philosopher [Sylvia Wynter] that I loved, and I think those were the opportunities that really filled me up.”

Related: Yara Shahidi Learned to Decorate Cakes Over Zoom for Prime Video's ‘Sitting in Bars with Cake’

Keri’s dedication appeared to pay off as Yara graduated from Harvard University last year, studying within the institution's Social Studies & African American departments with a concentration on "Black political thought under a neocolonial landscape." She even completed a 136-page thesis paper before accepting her diploma.

"It's surreal to have finally hit this major milestone," she wrote on social media alongside photos of her graduation. "I've known I wanted to go to college since I was four. By 17, I knew exactly what I wanted to study, so to see that come to fruition is a goal fulfilled."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Yara previously told Seventeen that she "got into every college" she applied to, including Yale University, Spelman College and Stanford University. But Harvard had always been her dream school.

"I've wanted to be a history professor for longer than I've wanted to be an actress," she revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2018. "And so I used to have the Harvard webpage up, and I'd go through the course catalog. So needless to say, this is something I've been planning for a long time."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.