Oprah Winfrey, a Billionaire TV Host use Influence as a Platform for Philanthropy and Girls Empowerment.
In the year 2007, Oprah Winfrey established a $40 Million “Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girl” in South Africa. With an aim of providing a world-class educational experience and leadership skills to underserved high school girls in South Africa. The educational curriculum also include an intensive financial planning counseling and post-graduate mentoring program to ensure their success beyond the academy.
In an interview on CNN titled “Oprah a ‘proud momma’ as first Academy students graduate,” Oprah Winfrey explained her emotions before the graduation of 71 girls (first group) she handpicked graduated. “I am one proud mama and for once I think I know what that feels like for real,” Winfrey said before the graduation of the first class of her South Africa-based school last week.
“It feels like a real sense of accomplishment. It is a triumph indeed, considering where all these girls have come from.” “When I look at them, I see where they’ve been, I see where they’ve come from. I know how hard it is to come up from nowhere and nothing and have almost no support and to have suffered not one or two but on average five, six traumas by the time you actually get in this school,” said Winfrey.
Born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Oprah had all of the odds against her. Having fallen victim to sexual abuse, she moved to Tennessee and began her radio and television career at Tennessee State University. Landing her first TV show gig in Baltimore, Maryland, she was then recruited to work in Chicago with her own morning show. Her warm and genuine demeanor brought her immense success and landed her the self-titled Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986.
Oprah’s began helping people both on and off the air. She greatly helped the publishing industry by starting “Oprah’s Book Club.” This brought nationwide visibility to unknown authors with compelling books. Outside of her work, Oprah has done a tremendous amount of work, and claims her children to be all of the children of Africa. In 2005, Business Week named her the top black philanthropist of the century. She has helped raise through her Oprah’s Angel Network $51,000,000 for(among many others) Hurricane Katrina victims and an all girls school in South Africa.
Receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey has done a lifetime of philanthropic work both at home and abroad. Using her internationally known 20-year talk show, this billionaire has used her fame and success to advocate for change and be a positive celebrity influence.
Also an activist for children, because of a bill proposed by Winfrey, President Clinton passed a bill to become law that created a nationwide database for child abusers. In addition to making contributions to her Tennessee State University, she also founded the Family for Better Lives foundation.
“You want to change the world, you change a girl’s life,” she said. “What I intend to do now is … take that model and to use it in the world to change the lives of 250 million girls around the world who can’t get an education, who don’t have any asset other than their bodies to use, and therefore they’re sold for dowries, they’re sold off into slavery, they’re married at 11 and 12 years old.”
Oprah Winfrey is loved for her selflessness and unwavering belief in making the world a better place. The 57 plus media award winning mogul runs her own channel, OWN network and successful O magazine. Oprah Winfrey is committed to championing the rights of young girls to a better education and leadership. She also aims to use her experience through her academy to impact more lives as a “force for change’ and expand the opportunities for more girls in underserved communities around the world — to become the next generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs.
Written by: Shareena Fontaine
About GC4W: The Global Connections for Women Foundation is not-for-profit charity organization that believes in women and girls — and their rights to create new opportunities for themselves and their communities.