The town of Hawkins, Indiana, is fictional (and mostly shot in Georgia), but clearly the midwest has made an impression on Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown. The Netflix star has just enrolled as an online student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Brown, whose character Eleven uses her psychokinetic and telepathic abilities to save those she loves from the terrors of the Upside Down, wants to continue helping people in real life, too.
Brown discussed her decision to pursue higher education in an interview with Allure magazine to study human services, which she described as a program where “you learn about the system and how to help young people.”
This is something Brown has already been doing for some time. In 2018, a then-14-year-old Millie was named UNICEF’s youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador. Brown has used her global platform in this role to help raise awareness of children’s rights and issues impacting the youth, like education, safety, and the impacts of bullying and poverty on young people.
As the star of the most popular TV show in the world, she has experienced the rollercoaster of emotions that come with online trolls and grooming in the entertainment industry. Brown opened up about her time with Hunter Ecimovic, aka TikTok star Hunter Echo. The two spent some time together and sparked dating rumors in early 2020. At the time Brown was 16 and Ecimovic was 20, and fans accused the TIkTok star of grooming her when he went live on the platform in July 2021. He then lashed out and said outrageous things about Brown.
“When you get publicly humiliated this way, I felt so out of control and powerless. Walking away and knowing that I’m worth everything and this person didn’t take anything from me, it felt very empowering. It felt like my life had finally turned a page and that I actually had ended a chapter that felt so f*cking long.”
Brown is currently dating Jake Bongiovi, the son of Jon Bon Jovi.
“Ultimately, all I wanted to do within my career is help young girls and young people out there know that I, too, go through things. I’m not this perfect person...I absolutely have made wrong decisions.”
Brown wants to make sure young people, especially young girls, feel empowered the be themselves. And like all of the humanitarian work and self-work Brown has done, it seems like enrolling to study human services makes sense for the Stranger Things star.
“People are all looking at me, ‘What are you going to say, Millie?’ I’m going to say, ‘Young girls deserve an education. Young people everywhere deserve equal rights. [You] deserve to love the people that you want to love. Be the people that you want to be and achieve the dreams that you want to achieve.’ That’s my message.”