Winfrey: Catalyst for Change American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, has made an impact on the way women think, eat, study, shop, exercise, and lead. Oprah has used her power and wealth to change the lives of people around the world. Winfrey has helped children in South Africa and in the U. S. have a better education and home. Through her talk show, Oprah has also helped people open up about their past and share their opinions on personal and serious topics. Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29th, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi.
Oprah was a troubled child when she was younger. She was sexually abused by family friends. “She skipped school, dated many boys, and stole from her mother’s purse. She ran away from home more than once. (Katherine Krohn)”. At a young age, Oprah moved around many times to houses of other relatives. In addition to this already hard life, Oprah became pregnant at the age of fourteen. She hid her pregnancy from everyone, including her dad, by wearing baggy clothing. She went into early labor due to stress. Sadly, the newborn died two weeks later, before Oprah began high school.
Oprah Winfrey is a catalyst for change because she founded Angel network and the Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, and her own personal talk show that changed the world forever. Starting out as spare change going into college scholarships, Oprah’s Angel Network has grown and helped kids find a better education and lifestyle. “Its best-known projects include funding rebuilding efforts of the Gulf coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina and building fifty-five rural schools in twelve countries (Huffington Post)”.
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The network also built around three-hundred homes which was part of their help to victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Not only does the network help areas around the world that have been it by disaster, but they also help children. Because of the network, children in more than twenty-seven countries have books. Oprah also built the Seven Foundations Primary School in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. The new primary school has helped more than a thousand boys and girls. The network “provides books for under-resourced children where a book club selection is a set (Oprah. com)”.
They have provided education for thousands of children in rural areas throughout the world. They help undeserved women and children rise to their potential. Angel Network “provided more than one million dollars worth of school supplies, including school uniforms and shoes, to impoverished South African children (Oprah. com)”. Not only did Oprah help people education wise, she also helped people express themselves freely. The Oprah Winfrey Talk Show has helped people talk about their problems and emotions openly. During the show, Oprah shares her feelings, secrets, and problems with her viewers. Because Oprah shared her feelings on the talk show, guests were inspired to talk openly about their problems too. When a guest was upset, Oprah usually gave her a hug or touched her (Katherine Krohn)”. Unlike most talk shows which only brought famous people to talk on the air, Oprah had a spiritual and major theme to her show. “On a show about weight loss, Oprah talked about her own struggle with food (Katherine Krohn)”. Her personal experiences with losing weight inspired others to become healthy. “Oprah asked personal questions that she thought people would be interested in (Katherine Krohn)”.
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Oprah would sometimes take a microphone into the audience and have people express their opinions on a certain topic. Oprah made a deal to extend her show until the 2010-2011 Season. Her show has aired on TV for over twenty-two years and has enlightened millions. “With her TV show, Oprah made more money-$125,000,000 a year (Katherine Krohn)”. Oprah also wanted to help girls who were determined to get an education. Oprah hand selected girls from South Africa who would attend the state-of-the-art Leadership Academy. Oprah looked for girls who were strong and would not let poverty stop them from reaching their dreams.
The academy cost $40,000,000 US dollars. The academy consists of a fifty-two acre campus with twenty-eight buildings. The campus includes dormitories, a dining hall, libraries, two theaters, a wellness center, and more. On the grand opening day in January of 2007, the school opened with 152 girls, age 11-12, who would attend seventh and eighth grade classes. Oprah built one of her houses on the school’s campus. Oprah stated, “I want to be near my girls and be in a position to see how they’ve done. ” Oprah wants the girls to experience the world. People criticized Oprah for spending too much money on the school. Critics pointed out the fireplaces in the building, high thread count sheets, yoga classes, and a beauty salon. Many suggested that Oprah’s money could have been used to educate more students if those luxuries were spared (Elizabeth Fry)”. Oprah Winfrey has gone to long extents to help people around the world. She has used all her power for good. Oprah has used her power to help people around the world have better lives. Her Angel Network has raise over $8 million to teach women and children everywhere to believe in themselves (The Women’s Conference)”. She has used her talent of public speaking to help people express their feelings.
Her Leadership Academy has helped girls have a better education and see what the world has for them. Oprah went from rags to riches to provide for those who are in need all around the world. Work Cited Page Fry, Elizabeth, “The History of Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa,” About http://oprah. about. com “History of Angel Network,” Oprah (online) Available: http://www. oprah. com Krohn, Katherine. Oprah Winfrey: Global Media Leader. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2009. 112. “Why We Honor Her,” The Women’s Conference (online) Available: http://www. womensconference. org
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