Olivia Wilde Honored For Founding Haiti's First Free School
August 16th, 2012 12:07am EDT
Actress and philanthropist Olivia Wilde has been honored as a visionary by editors at a prominent magazine for helping to establish Haiti's first free high school.
The Tron: Legacy beauty first visited Haiti with her journalist parents when she was a child, and she has been heavily involved in the mission to clean up and rebuild the nation following a devastating earthquake in 2010.
She serves as a board member for Port-au-Prince's Artists for Peace and Justice school, which strives to provide poverty-stricken kids with a free education - and her continued charity work has earned her a mention as one of Conde Nast Traveler's 2012 Visionaries.
The school, which is run by officials at the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, receives financial pledges from Hollywood stars like Barbra Streisand, Daniel Craig and Russell Crowe. It is expected to welcome 1,200 students when doors open in October and Wilde hopes her efforts will inspire younger generations to get involved in charity.
She tells the publication, "I'm really excited about the next generation. Philanthropy is no longer just for the rich."
Wilde, 28, hopes her efforts will change the world's view on Haiti, insisting the country isn't all poverty, crime, violence and black magic: "People think voodoo is a dark force. It's not true. People also assume there is rampant disease and kidnapping. I've never felt unsafe, even in Cite Soleil, the poorest slum.
"I'm lucky to be working with a local organization because I get to see Haiti differently... I think it's the most beautiful place in the world."
Photo Credits: Frank Ockenfels for Condé Nast Traveler