Oprah Winfrey has helped thousands of young people attend college and her latest scholarship is going the extra mile to assist young leaders.
The new scholarship is via The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation and benefits “students who have displayed both academic excellence and leadership within their respective communities,” PEOPLE exclusively reports.
The 67-year-old said in a statement, “I am where I am today because of education and the support of teachers throughout my life. I am honored to support these students who have shown high achievement in their academic studies, but more importantly a commitment to their communities. These young leaders bring me hope for our future, and I look forward to watching each of them flourish.”
Fifteen students have already been selected as part of the four-year program’s inaugural class.
Winfrey surprised the students on video that they would be receiving the scholarship, saying, “There are young people like you in the world who are claiming your stake for the future and have done the work to prepare for a better life not just for yourself but for everybody else.”
She continued, “Everything that you’ve overcome in your life, every single thing, every obstacle, every challenge that we’ve put in for you, you stood up to that challenge. You kept going. You were willing to be the standout, even though other people didn’t understand what you were standing for.”
See the video below: