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Oprah Winfrey Pledges More Than $1m To Minority Students

Oprah Winfrey Pledges More Than $1m To Minority Students

Oprah Winfrey shocked guests at a fundraiser when she announced she'd be pledging more than $1 million to help minority students get into college.

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Winfrey was in Charlotte, North Carolina, to speak at the 17th annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon, where the United Negro College Fund was hoping to raise $1m (£814,000) for local students.

After the room was told that $1.15m (£936,000) had been raised, Winfrey surprised everyone by saying the number was yet to rise.

She said: "I'm also here today because I believe in the power of education. There is nothing better than to open the door of opportunity for someone."

Winfrey continued: "So here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to match that number!"

The extra money Winfrey promised doubled the total raised to a whopping $2.3m (£1.9m).

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Credit: UNCF/Twitter
Credit: UNCF/Twitter

The United Negro College Fund tweeted footage of Winfrey's announcement, writing: "Boom! The awesomeness that is @oprahjust matched the $1 million dollars that was raised during the #UNCFCharlotte Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon. Yes, so now over $2 million was raised to support #HBCUs this afternoon!"

The UNCF's Tiffany Jones also tweeted a clip from the event, saying: "We love you Oprah!!"

Winfrey - a self-made multi-billionaire worth $2.7 billion (£2.2bn) - is well known for her philanthropy, having also set up the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa back in 2007.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In an interview with Variety back in 2015 (when it was estimated she'd donated more than $350m to various causes), Winfrey explained she initially struggled what to do with her wealth when she first achieved financial success.

She said: "I tried working with kids who were disabled, I tried working with kids who were juvenile delinquents, I tried working with elderly people - that didn't work for me."

Eventually, it was a trip to South Africa in 2000 that inspired her to build a school for girls.

Winfrey continued: "I specifically chose girls because giving an opportunity to a girl means that she doesn't just change her life.

"The nature of women is to nurture so they nurture their families, they nurture their communities. I say to my girls, 'You are going to have the chance to break the cycle of poverty in your family forever.'"

She added: "Charity isn't even charity for me because it is an extension of who I am."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Entertainment, Celebrity

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]

 

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