via press release:
OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK TO PREMIERE
“THE FIRST GRADUATING CLASS: OPRAH WINFREY LEADERSHIP ACADEMY FOR GIRLS” ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14
OWN Special Follows the Personal Journeys of the First Students to Graduate from Oprah’s School for Girls in South Africa
Oprah Winfrey with students from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls
Los Angeles, CA – The OWN special, “The First Graduating Class: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls,” chronicles the ups and downs of fulfilling Oprah Winfrey’s vision to provide underprivileged girls in South Africa with a world-class education. In an unprecedented look at life at Oprah’s Academy, the show introduces viewers to the young women of the school’s first graduating class, following every step of their emotional journey as they tackle the challenges of their senior year and apply for college. The two-hour special premieres Sunday, October 14, 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
“This journey began as a dream to build a school for girls in South Africa,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I have an especially close connection to this first graduating class. I hand-picked each of them. I can see who theyare, where they came from and the potential of who they can be. To create a school that is able to change the trajectory of these students’ lives has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.”
After years of hard work, 72 young women made history in 2012 when they became the first to graduate from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. From their arrival at the school to their first visit to the United States to tour colleges, the special provides personal accounts of the school’s first students, who at age twelve or thirteen left their homes and families behind to pursue an opportunity to follow their dreams.
Oprah’s dream began over a decade ago when she told Nelson Mandela that she wanted to fight poverty in South Africa by providing a world-classeducation to those in need. In fulfillment of Oprah’s pledge, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls opened its doors in Meyerton, South Africa in January 2007 and celebrated its first commencement in January 2012.