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Black Excellence: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls Hosts Its 7th Graduation Ceremony

Black Excellence: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls Hosts Its 7th Graduation Ceremony

Photo credit: Harpo Studios 

It was a celebration at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG) on Saturday, December 1, when they held their seventh graduation ceremony. 

Filmmaker Tyler Perry served as the commencement speaker, telling the 58 graduates during his address: 

"Before the ceremony this morning, I spoke to Ms. Winfrey and asked her how she chose the girls. She said she looks for something special, something that sparkles and is unique. Today that is all I saw. I saw all the hope, brilliance and intelligence. Being the chosen one is special and wonderful. It gives you the opportunity to strive and go higher and do things that you would have not had the chance to do." 

Since making a promise to Nelson Mandela in 2002 to build a school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa, Winfrey's school (which opened in 2007) has had more than 400 graduates go on to attend the world's most prestigious colleges and universities, as well as over 350 alumnae register at South African Universities.

Photo credit: Harpo Studios 

"It is such an honor and privilege to exist in a space where you can become more than you were yesterday," said Khensani Hlaise, OWLAG's 2018 Class Representative.

"For my sisters and I, this journey has been of becoming more of ourselves, it has been about uncovering and discovering, a journey of shedding our fears and becoming who we truly have always been. We are all here because of a dream that Mum O had, one that Tata Madiba pushed along. Before we part ways, my dear loves, I am here to remind you that you are great, beautiful, strong and smart."

Congratulations, ladies! And kudos to Oprah for fulfilling the promise and investing in tomorrow's leaders!

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