Oprah Winfrey has launched a new scholarship through her charity foundation, which will aid academically exceptional students who have displayed leadership within their communities.
According to People, 15 graduating high school students from diverse backgrounds were ultimately selected to be a part of the four-year program. The students, who were chosen because of their shared desire to create a better world, are enrolled at some of the country’s most prestigious universities, including Harvard University, Brown University, Columbia University, Howard University, and Cornell University. “These young leaders bring me hope for our future, and I look forward to watching each of them flourish,” said Winfrey in a statement.
“I am where I am today because of education and the support of teachers throughout my life,” she said. “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 commence the program, Winfrey surprised the honorable students with a virtual Zoom call, which they were led to believe was the last step in the interview process. Instead, Winfrey officially welcomed them to the program and provided words of encouragement. “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,” said Winfrey during the call.
“Everything that you’ve overcome in your life, every single thing, every obstacle, every challenge that we’ve put in for you, you stood up to that challenge. You kept going. You were willing to be the standout, even though other people didn’t understand what you were standing for.”
“I’m thrilled that there are young people like you in the world,” she continued. “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.”
Watch the heartwarming surprise video below through Oprah’s Instagram:
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