Shakira to Be Recognized as an 'Agent of Change' at Univision's Premios Juventud (Exclusive)

The award recognizes the singer's charitable work with children's education, nutrition and the arts.

Felicidades are in order! Shakira will be recognized as an "Agent of Change" at Univision's Premios Juventud later this month, the organization announced exclusively to ET on Thursday. 

The award recognizes the singer's charitable work with children's education, nutrition and the arts. Univision also cited her focus on female empowerment within each cause, and her Fundacion Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Foundation) in Colombia. The organization works to ensure all Colombian children have access to education. 

"My dream is to be able to continue growing and make many more schools, get more resources from both the government and the private sector, and that every day more people understand that education is really that 'Agent of Change,'" Shakira told TV presenter Alejandra Espinoza in an interview. "We have also seen it, I have seen it with my own eyes, since we started working with the foundation, we have accompanied children who live in conditions of extreme poverty and conflict and they are children who today are already adolescents, who have graduated and they're in college. They've transformed their lives and they have left or at least manage to have the opportunities or the tools to get out to, break that vicious circle of poverty." 

The Premios Juventud (Youth Awards) will return to Puerto Rico for the second time this year, and air live from the historic Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot. 

"For the past 6 years, Premios Juventud has not only celebrated music, fashion, and pop culture in general but has been committed to spotlighting changemakers, both artists and the youth who are using their platforms for the common good," Univison's release reads. 

This year, the organization will also recognize Camila Cabello. Previous honorees include Jesse & Joy, Maluma, Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Kany Garcia, Jenni Rivera Foundation, Ricky Martin, Becky G, Pitbull, Juanpa Zurita and Wisin y Yandel. 

"The greatest personal happiness and satisfaction that one can feel in life is to help a child achieve their dreams. It is our obligation as a society to help them," Shakira said in a statement. "Education is not a luxury, it is a right that must be protected by society and defended by the state." 

"The work of Pies Descalzos has not only benefited children but has also helped parents and teachers, as well generated jobs in the areas where the schools are located," Univision's statement continued. "One of the foundation's approaches which makes it stand out is its focus on feeding these children, since malnutrition is a serious issue in these areas. The foundation's main focus is to change communities for the better."

The statement continued, "Shakira's talent and contributions as an artist are indisputable, but her philanthropic work is even greater. The foundation is a transformation project, not only for children but for entire communities and therefore something that impacts an entire region and hopefully the future of an entire country." 

Shakira holds 15 Premios Juventud, and this year has nine nominations: Female Youth Awards Artist, Best Song For My Ex, Girl Power, Best Urban Track, Best Pop/Urban Song, Best Pop/Urban Collaboration, Best Pop/Urban Collaboration, Tropical Mix. 

Shakira's interview with Espinoza will air in full on Univision's PRIMER IMPACTO on July 13 at 5pm ET. The Premios Juventud will air July 20 at 7pm ET.