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.
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).
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!"
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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.
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