Oprah Winfrey started the Angel Network back in 1998 allowing her numerous television viewers to donate to charitable causes handpicked by Oprah herself. Her contribution included covering all operating expenses of the public charity, which allowed 100% of viewer donations to be put to work through grants. Over the years, $80 million poured in through the network and was issued through various Oprah Winfrey grants. Most notably, the network provided a major rebuilding effort following Hurricane Katrina and the construction of 55 schools in 12 countries. But in 2010 as she retired from her daytime television show the network was shut down. This in no way put an end to Oprah’s philanthropy and there are many grants and scholarships available today that bare her name.
One of those former projects that is continuing strong today is the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Opened in December of 2006 in South Africa through major grant support by Oprah Winfrey, the academy saw its first graduating class in 2012. 72 girls not only graduated from the academy but would also receive a full college scholarship. This has provided a really amazing transformative experience for students who come from an impoverished background and is making a huge difference one girl at a time. But you don’t have to be a South African girl to attend college through an Oprah grant.
Oprah Winfrey is the largest donor to Atlanta’s premier black university Morehouse College. She has given over $12 million to the school since 1989. When Martin Luther King Jr. attended the school in 1948, tuition was a mere $90. But this is no longer the case. The Sons of Oprah are a group of black men who have benefited from the school’s Oprah Scholars program. And these alumni now add to the endowment for this scholarship themselves ensuring that this Oprah grant will continue for years to come.