Mostly recognised as Zoey Johnson from intersectional socio-political TV sitcoms Black-ish and Grown-ish, our July/August cover star, Yara Shahidi, has forged a celebrity persona that is not too different from the character she portrays on TV.

At just 18 years old, she’s formed Yara’s Club, a partnership with The Young Women’s Leadership School. The club encourages discourse around social-justice issues amongst high-school students, guiding them on how to take action for the causes that matter to them. Yara has also worked on Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn education initiative – not to mention that the former First Lady wrote the letter of recommendation that accompanied Yara’s successful Harvard University application. So… not just a gorgeous face, right?

Of course not. It’s 2018 and we all know that beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive traits. But how has this powerful combo of social currency catapulted Miss Shahidi to the status of leading celebrity activist of her generation? Seeing as Marie Claire‘s Power Issue is all about ‘career women, entrepreneurship, gender equality, activism and the collective power of women’, it’s rather apt that our cover girl be someone like Yara, who often uses her interviews as a platform not just to tell us who she is, but to be vocal about what is happening in the world around us. She may be young, but she’s definitely going to shape the future.

These are the three most impactful speeches and interviews she’s given:

On performing the trapeze act of fame and young womanhood

‘As a teenager, I’m very unsure of myself most of the time; not certain if I’m saying the right things, if I am acting the right way, if I’m even supposed to be here. I’m constantly moving into new and unfamiliar territory from sets to events through young women womanhood to stages like this and it can all be very overwhelming. What am I doing in these beautiful designer clothes while the world is reeling backwards?’

On the protests in Iran

‘It’s really about the people that are affected and the idea that they are in a very similar situation in which they were sold an economic plan that does not benefit them…. It is one of those things in which we have to look at the interconnectivity.’

On grasping the concept of being ‘born free’

‘… to be able to accept that freedom and have that freedom at this age is something that our generation – I’m pretty sure – is fairly aware of and isn’t taking for granted.’

Yara often uses Instagram to address political issues (with strikingly beautiful pics of herself in between):

This 18-year old does indeed stay true to her ‘remain dharma (purpose), driven and undefined’, life motto. To learn more about how our July/August cover star, Yara Shahidi, is making Hollywood great again, pick up a copy of the issue – on shelves now.