Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls
Oprah Winfrey opened a school in South Africa for girls. The school is called the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. The school’s mission is to provide a nurturing educational background for academically gifted girls who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The school is for girls in Grades 8-12. The school strives to give their girls the skills to assume positions of leadership in South Africa, as well as internationally. The school would like to see their graduates lead the transformation of their communities and country.
The school is centered on the Ubunti and Botho belief system. They teach the ideals of humanity, compassion, and service to others. Additionally, the school’s core values include respect, honor, service, and compassion.
The school was born in 2000 when Oprah visited Nelson Mandela where she promised to build a world-class school for girls. The school was later opened in 2007 with 7th and 8th-grade girls. Ms. Winfrey donated more than $40 million toward the academy’s creation.
The leadership academy integrates academic, leadership, and pedagogy curriculums. The academic curriculum includes courses in languages, mathematics, science, arts, physical education, and individuals and societies.
As a part of the school’s philosophy, each student also has an individual advisor. The advisor is responsible for monitoring the girl’s growth and progress in all aspects of school life. Each advisor has three main roles including knowing and being personally available to the student, sharing in her problems and successes, keeping in touch with the student’s teachers and residential staff, and finally acting as a contact and resource person for parents, guardians, or caregivers.
The leadership academy is a competitive entrance school. Ms. Winfrey believes that education is the right of every girl but her academy is to be seen as a privilege. Students are invited to attend the academy, and these girls have proven that they have the ability to excel and move beyond challenging circumstances. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls has provided and will continue to provide many African Women an incredible opportunity to succeed.
– Caitlin Zusy
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