Katy Perry says financial struggles as a kid make her relatable to children she helps today

Katy Perry and sister Angela Hudson Lerche; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Variety

People has named Katy Perry and her sister, Angela Lerche, as two of its Women Changing the World, thanks to their work with Katy’s charity, the Firework Foundation, and Camp Firework, the arts-focused summer camp they both run for kids in underserved areas. Katy tells People that growing up, she and Angela didn’t live a life too far removed from the kids they help today.

“You want to talk about food stamps? I can talk about food stamps. You want to talk about food banks? I can talk about food banks,” Katy tells People. “You want to talk about busking in the street as a teenager, hoping to make $20 to cover yourself, I can talk about that too.”

Angela says at Camp Firework, which has hosted more than 400 middle schoolers since it began, they’re able to make the kids feel less alone by “reminding them that we didn’t come from anything either.”

She adds, “[Katy] wasn’t born into some musical family that had all this access. She worked so hard for so many years to get to be where she is.”

“It’s so overwhelming because you hear so many stories from these kids, and what it’s like back home and what they’re dealing with,” notes Angela. “I’m just grateful that we’re able to show them that there is something better out there.”

Katy says she and Angela are both hands-on during the camp, with Katy noting, “I’m up with them in the morning, and they’re throwing whipped cream on me in the evening.”

“The kids know me as the girl that sang ‘Roar’ or ‘Dark Horse,’ but I hope [by the end] they [think], ‘I too can live out my dreams like Katy Perry. She’s just like me, in a lot of goofy ways.'”


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