“I ended up in the world’s biggest classroom and this, my friends, will be the last class from this stage.”
With these words, spoken on her last show after 25 years, Oprah Winfrey defined her role as teacher. She added, “You are responsible for your life. Use your life to serve the world.”
Oprah, who has always said she wanted to be a teacher, declared that her show became her classroom and in some cases she did the teaching and other times, the learning. Over her final hour on television, she reiterated the lessons that she has learned and imparted to her audience over the years.
Oprah’s Extraordinary Role As A Teacher
For 25 years, Oprah has been a tireless advocate for many causes, including gay rights and adult survivors of child abuse; her book club has promoted 65 selections, engaging and entertaining readers while making reading an important priority; she has donated millions of dollars to various causes through her Angel Network.
But all this is dwarfed by her work as a teacher. Perhaps this strikes me most because I am a high school educator myself, but Oprah’s work in education is remarkable. During a December 2000 visit with Nelson Mandela, Oprah pledged to build a school in South Africa. As that commitment broadened, she established The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, to which she has contributed more than $40 million toward the creation of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls—South Africa, which opened in January 2007 and now serves grades 7 through 12.
In addition, Oprah’s Angel Network has helped establish 60 schools in 13 countries, create scholarships, support women’s shelters, and build youth centers and homes—changing the future for people all over the world.
Oprah’s All-Time Favorite Guest
And in honor of Tererai Trent, her all-time favorite guest, Oprah donated $1.5 million from the Oprah Winfrey Foundation to the Matau Primary School project in Zimbabwe, so that the children living in Trent’s home village will be able to have the education that she herself was denied.
And now, in an all-new series, “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” Oprah will reach back through her show’s 25-year history to teach the lessons that matter most to her…the guidelines for fulfilling your life’s potential, breaking through your barriers, understanding your purpose, letting go of anger, how to use joy to fuel your life, and becoming all you were meant to be. Wow!
Enter Our Contest For A Chance To Meet Oprah!
By signing up here to reserve your spot in Oprah’s online Lifeclass, you will also be registered for the chance for you and a friend to win tickets to O You! on October 15, where you will meet Oprah. Good luck!
Photo Credit: Harpo, Inc./Art Streiber