Paul Morigi—Getty Images for Glamour
March 13, 2017 11:22 AM EDT

Getting Michelle Obama to write your college recommendations is any high school senior’s dream. Just ask Yara Shahidi!

The Blackish actress recently went through the arduous process of applying to colleges. But she was lucky enough to land the endorsement of the former First Lady!

“She is very amazing and such a supporter, which is something very surreal to say,” Shahidi told W Magazine of Michelle Obama. The actress has applied to four-year colleges on the east and west coasts, including Harvard. Michelle attended Harvard Law School, and her daughter, Malia, will matriculate at the Ivy League college next year.

And like Malia, Shahidi plans on taking a gap year before she starts school.

“I know when Malia Obama announced [she was deferring], she got a lot of slack, but I feel like what’s interesting is I know so many people that are deferring. It’s more than to just roam around or just sit down and stare at a wall, but it will also give me an opportunity to work,” she told People last October. “I’ve been working more than half of my life and that’s always been balanced with school and all of the other responsibilities, so to have a year to focus on work and to focus on specified interests will be nice before I pick a career and choose what I want to study and my life path.”

RELATED: See child stars all grown up

Shahidi was recently honored at the 10th Anniversary of the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards in February. She was recognized for her strength in using her voice for good and for being a role model in her generation —all traits that Obama obviously recognized in the young starlet.

She plans on double-majoring in African American studies and sociology.

This article originally appeared on


Contact us at

Read More From TIME

Related Stories