Oprah Winfrey has announced a new scholarship opportunity through The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation. According to People, the scholarship will benefit “students who have displayed both academic excellence and leadership within their respective communities.”
“I am where I am today because of education and the support of teachers throughout my life,” Winfrey said in a press statement. “I am honored to support these students who have shown high achievement in their academic studies, but more importantly, a commitment to their communities.”
The selected students are matriculating at some of the top universities in the country such as Howard University Brown University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Loyola Marymount University, and Cornell University – to name a few. Their academic interests range from music to pre-med to mechanical engineering. “These young leaders bring me hope for our future, and I look forward to watching each of them flourish,” Winfrey added.
15 students were selected for the inaugural cohort of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Scholars. Students invited to join the four-year program were not made aware of their selection until Winfrey personally broke the news to them during a surprise video call.
”There are young people like you in the world who are claiming your stake for the future and have done the work to prepare for a better life – not just for yourself, but for everybody else,” the media maven expressed in the video.
Without question, Winfrey has a deep passion for education. To date, The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation has given more than $400 million in grants and donations to organizations with a focus on youth education since it was established in 1993. Further, more than 72,000 people have been supported by the foundation since its inception. In 2009, Winfrey founded the Oprah Leadership Academy For Girls in South Africa and since 1989, she has generously supported HBCUs including Morehouse College where she established the Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program.