Taraji P. Henson Thanks Debbie Allen for Helping Her Through School in the Most Touching Celebrity Moment You’ve Seen in a While

The Empire goddess opens up about struggling through college in an inspiring speech.

Taraji P. Henson knows how the hustle is done on and off the screen. Did you know the Oscar-nominated actress won an esteemed award and finished her college education at Howard University all while pregnant? If you don’t know, now you know.

The VH1 Big In 15 With Entertainment Weekly honoree accepted her award from fellow actress Debbie Allen, who helped Taraji continue her education after she became pregnant. Taraji’s words to Debbie are incredibly moving:

“I have Debbie and her sister Phylicia Rashad [to thank] because I really had no money to finish my education. They established this award in honor of their father Andrew Allen, but you gotta be a triple threat, honey. You gotta act, sing, dance. I won it. And I was six months pregnant. I couldn’t imagine anyone else presenting me this award tonight, I love you.”

Who knew that a little pay it forward and grind would create such a trailblazer? Now go forth and do something with your life in true Taraji style, honey. And don’t miss the big show next Monday, December 7th at 9 ET/PM on VH1.

Pizza is bae. And yes, I still say bae.