Oprah Winfrey’s initiatives continue to create opportunities for the youth.
With The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, Winfrey launched a new scholarship program — The Oprah Winfrey Leaders Scholarship.
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 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.”
To inaugurate the four-year program’s class, each of the 15 students selected were congratulated with a surprise virtual call from Winfrey herself earlier this summer.
“I’m thrilled that there are young people like you in the world,” Winfrey shared in the call. “You are claiming your stake in the future and have done the work to prepare for a better life for yourself and everybody else. You are the future. You are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
Winfrey not only launched the scholarship but also was a part of hand-selecting the scholarship recipients.
“I’ve read all your stories. It’s an honor to get to know you, and to see all the great work that you’re going to do in the world,” Winfrey told the inaugural class.
The mission behind Winfrey’s new scholarship is to help young leaders dedicated to changing the world to attend the school of their dreams. In the fall, the students will be attending prestigious colleges and universities across the nation including Harvard University, Brown University, Columbia University, Howard University, Cornell University and Loyola Marymount University.
According to Oprah Daily, the program’s class will “have access to speakers and leaders in various fields that reflect the inaugural class’s diverse ambitions.”
Learn more about the scholarship’s inaugural class and how high school students can apply next year here.