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Education no joke for Rebel:

Known for making people laugh, actress Rebel Wilson reveals her serious side.
By Motherpedia
Date: November 18 2013
Editor Rating:

Australian actress Rebel Wilson may be famous for making people laugh, but one topic is no joking matter for her: education.

Rebel’s early acting career started on SBS comedy series, Pizza in 2003 and in its feature film, Fat Pizza. She later appeared in several other comedy series in Australia and then moved to the United States to pursue her acting career.

Rebel has appeared in movies such as BridesmaidsPitch Perfect and now has her very own U.S. sitcom Super Fun Night.

Rebel was a very serious student in high school and after graduation was accepted into law school.

“Even though I now work in the entertainment industry and get to make people laugh, when I was at school I tried hard in all my subjects and my final exam results got me into the top law school in Australia,” wrote the actress. 

Wilson revealed that piece of her history in a letter of advice to her sponsored student, an 11th grader from The School of St Jude, a non-profit school providing a free, high-quality education to over 1,600 poor students near Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania.

“Education is your key to opportunity. I know I come from Australia, but I didn't grow up with much. I just believed in myself and tried to always improve.”

“My advice would be to try your absolute hardest at school. Study hard and try different activities so that when you finish secondary school there will be lots of opportunities for you to pursue. When it comes time to decide what to do with your life I would say choose what you're passionate about and then work out a way to profit from that.”

“Becoming an actress was the most risky path I could have taken, but it’s been such a fun path and the risk has more than paid off.” 

Wilson got involved with the non-profit school in 2006, after she saw a documentary on ABC’s Australian Story about St Jude’s and its founder, Gemma Sisia.

In 2002, Gemma, from a sheep farm in Australia, opened a small school in Northern Tanzania with the help of her family, friends and local Rotary Club.

What started with only three students and one teacher is now a thriving school of over 1,500 students and over 400 local Tanzanian staff. The students and staff are located across three campuses and includes two boarding houses to accommodate more than 1,000 students.


Gemma Sisia with students 

“I just thought it was such an amazing idea and Gemma was really inspiring,” says Wilson.

 “It is wonderful having a talented, Australian actress like Rebel backing our cause and her sponsorship of one of our students and boarding rooms greatly helps us in our fight against poverty through education,” says Gemma Sisia.

Africa has had an important role in the actress’ life.  As a Rotary International Youth Ambassador for Australia, she lived in South Africa for a year, and travelled to rural areas in Swaziland, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique where kids had limited education or resources.

In one of these trips, Wilson got sick with malaria. One day, while she was delirious with high fevers, she had a vision of herself receiving an Oscar.

The fever subsided, but not the dream. As a result of that experience, Wilson decided to pursue an acting career, and education became an important cause for her.

“I think the work that St Jude's does is important and amazing. I like that my donations are going directly to helping individuals at the school. Now that I am in a fortunate position it feels good to give back,” says Wilson.

For more information on St Jude’s visit:


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