The two-hour OWN special, The First Graduating Class: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, chronicles the ups and downs of fulfilling Oprah Winfrey’s vision to provide girls in South Africa with a “world-class” education.
In an unprecedented look at life at Oprah’s Academy, the show introduces viewers to the young women of the school’s first graduating class, following every step of their journey as they tackle the challenges of their senior year and apply for college.
The two-hour special premieres Sunday, October 14, 10/9c on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
“This journey began as a dream to build a school for girls in South Africa,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I have an especially close connection to this first graduating class. I hand-picked each of them. I can see who theyare, where they came from and the potential of who they can be. To create a school that is able to change the trajectory of these students’ lives has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.“
72 young women made history in 2012 when they became the first to graduate from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. From their arrival at the school to their first visit to the United States to tour colleges, the special provides personal accounts of the school’s first students, who at age twelve or thirteen left their homes and families behind to pursue an opportunity to follow their dreams.
In fulfillment of Oprah’s pledge, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls opened its doors in Meyerton, South Africa in January 2007 and celebrated its first commencement in January 2012.
The First Graduating Class: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls is produced by Harpo Studios.
Watch a preview below: