Philanthropy and Education
Soledad and her husband created the Starfish Foundation (formerly the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation) to provide young women with a bridge between obstacles and opportunity, giving them the experiences, education and resources to overcome unexpected barriers to success.
During Soledad's career as a reporter and special correspondent for CNN, she mentored hundreds of girls in journalism, believing in the importance of passing on her own knowledge and teaching others that they too can succeed.
"This foundation is a natural evolution of that", says her husband, Brad Raymond. The initial scholarship they created has grown into over 10 scholarships for young girls across the United States to complete their educational pursuits.
O'Brien has given many talks to students and a number of keynote speeches over the years, including the undergraduate commencement at Bryant University in May 2007, where she was presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree, the convocation speech at Cornell University's Commencement in May 2007, a speech at Binghamton University commencement in December 2007, and the keynote speech at the 2008 annual National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Conference in Boston, MA in March 2008.
Soledad O’Brien is a member of the board of directors of the Foundation for the National Archives.
She is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in English and American literature. She was named by Harvard University as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow for the 2013-2014 academic year.