By: Renee Grant
Two very influential stars inspired Lady Gaga to get involved in charity work. The Born This Way singer credits John Lennon and Yoko Ono for teaching her how important it is to give back.
In 2011 Gaga started her Born This Way Foundation, which is “committed to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world.” To that end, Gaga has helped to inspire many young people in her own right. Still, she says Ono and Lennon are her heroes.
“I was actually always a very big fan of Yoko Ono and also her work with her late husband John Lennon, and when they made peace statements together, they were very simple,” Gaga says. “They would say things like, ‘Give peace a chance’, and the press would say, ‘Well, what do you mean?’ and they’d say, ‘That’s what we mean – just give it a chance’. We’re asking people to give kindness a chance.”
Recently, Gaga teamed up with Staples for Students who are donating $1M to the BTW Foundation and DonorsChoose.org to help improve schools and educational opportunities for students. Recently, she visited a middle school in California to discuss difficulties facing the students.
“They came in all shapes and sizes, with different academic heights, and there were kids with disabilities,” she says. “It was extraordinary to look each other in the eye, hear what they needed: ‘I need to be accepted; I want to feel supported; I want the classroom to be more like this or that because I was born this way.’ It was really powerful.”
Meeting with the students was a touching experience for Gaga, who still hopes the world will become a more peaceful place.
“Everyone can go on about how the world needs to be a better place, that we’re in a very negative time, but this starts in the classroom,” she continues. “The world becomes better when people are kind.”