Like any parent, Winfrey beamed and cried as she watched 72 of her “daughters,” the school’s first class, graduate. The young women were dressed impeccably in a uniform of white dresses and matching white heels. They sang a song of gratitude and celebration in Zulu, a South African language. Family and friends cheered as each girl accepted her diploma.
The opening of the $40 million school, which is located an hour outside of Johannesburg in the small town of Henley-on-Klip, opened in 2007. Since its opening, the academy has faced challenges including accusations of abuse from a school official and the birth of a dead baby to one of the students. Even with the controversies, all but three of the original class of students is graduating, and all the graduates have been accepted to college.
Winfrey stressed that even though the journey at her school is ending for these young women, she expects them to achieve even greater accomplishments in college and beyond.
“When you invest in the leadership of girls you invest in a nation,” said Winfrey. “Every one of these girls is going to serve themselves, their family, community and country in ways that are yet to amaze you.”
Simply Amazing “Mom Oprah.”