What do country singer Carrie Underwood and One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush have in common? They both believe that ‘behind every famous person is a fabulous teacher’. The 2005 Idol winner and the actress have joined forces in using their fame to bring attention to the importance of teachers. They have become the 2009 spokespeople for the award-winning Teachers Count campaign.
The Time Inc., supported campaign is known for pairing famous figures with their favorite teachers. Past participants have included former first lady Laura Bush, actress America Ferrera, and the Today Show’s Al Roker just to name a few.
For Carrie, teachers have always been her true American Idols; her mother Carole Underwood taught for 25 years, and her sisters Stephanie Shelton and Shanna Means both teach today. “Teaching was something that ran in my family”, said Carrie. “I have always admired my mother and sisters for making a difference in the lives of so many”.
Carrie Underwood is certainly making a difference in the life of country music; she is the reigning Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, an honor only seven women have had since 1970. Yet even with Carrie’s obvious talent, the multiple-Grammy winner still valued an education and went on to complete her studies at Northeastern State University earning her degree in mass communication after taking the American Idol title.
If you like Sophia’s work in her films and on ‘One Tree Hill’, you may want to thank her high school English teacher who Sophia says taught her valuable lessons that help her today to succeed as an actress. “He taught me to read between the lines, to see the hidden messages, and to live the stories on the pages.”, said Sophia, who attended the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, Calif. “The way he taught me to break down a novel is the way I break down scripts today”.
It appears her script breakdown is working for her as she won the “Rising Star” award at the Vail Film Festival for her work in ‘The Hitcher’ and is a multiple Teen Choice Award winner. Yet even when knowing she wanted to be an actress, like Carrie, Sophia still believed a strong education was vital; she enrolled at the University of Southern California as a journalism major prior to ‘One Tree Hill’. Sophia places a strong emphasis on the importance of today’s youth keeping themselves informed on the main issues concerning the world today. “We’re the generation now that this world’s going to be entrusted to so I want to see kids smart and educated, caring about politics, and caring about the environment”, said Sophia at the Global Green event last year.
Global issues are what Sophia has publicly shown her passion to. In 2008, she volunteered with Surfriders Foundation to help clean the beaches of North Carolina, where ‘One Tree Hill’ is filmed. “It’s a big deal to remember to motivate people to keep our environment clean”, said Sophia. “We have to change with the earth, the earth doesn’t change with us”. Sophia is also a big caretaker of rescue dogs.
Sophia’s care for the protection of animals gives her and Carrie something else in common. Earlier this year Carrie donated her song proceeds to the Humane Society, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, which she also does many public service annoucements for. The multi-platinum selling artist is also a major PETA supporter.
Environmental care, animal protection, and now raising money for underfunded classrooms; yes it looks like these two young stars are doing just fine. Their careers are doing more than fine as well. Carrie Underwood is scheduled to release her third album November 3 and Sophia Bush is currently working on the seventh season of ‘One Tree Hill’ which premieres September 14 on the CW network.