The First Students Graduate from Oprah Winfrey's School in South Africa
Five years ago, Oprah Winfrey opened a school in South Africa for underprivileged girls. On January 14, 2011, the first class of girls graduated from the school and Oprah was there to watch them and offer the graduation speech.
During her graduation speech, Oprah told the girls that they were now “free to soar.” She also offered praise and recognition for the teachers, family members, social workers, and everyone else who has helped make this dream a reality for the girls. For many young people in South Africa, poverty and personal traumas make it impossible for them to become educated. Some of these personal traumas include violence, the death of one or even both parents, molestation, and grief, according to Oprah.
Originally, 75 girls were part of this class of graduating girls. Of those 75, all but three walked across the stage and are now planning to attend universities in the USA and South Africa.
“I’m one proud momma today,” Oprah said. “I always held the vision that this day was possible.”
She certainly has plenty to be proud of. Oprah spent $40 million on the construction of the school and has been involved in it since it was opened. There have been several problems along the road, including a dormitory matron who was accused of abusing the students.
So what’s next for the recent graduates? Oprah said that the students who were graduating would be able to continue to count on her in the future. She also said that there will be a counseling unit available for the students to help them learn how to manage their time, money and priorities while they continue their studies.
These students were born in 1994, a year that is very important in South African history because it was the year that apartheid ended. In her speech, Oprah told the girls that they were born “into a nation that said: You are free. You are free to rise. You are free to soar,” and it seems that these young ladies are doing just that.
Via ABC News
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