Oprah Said She’s Thinking About Opening a Girls’ School in the U.S.

Her academy in South Africa opened 12 years ago.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah recently confirmed that she is considering opening a school in America. During a behind-the-scenes segment from Wednesday night’s interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Oprah was asked by an audience member whether she would ever open a North American version of her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG), which opened in South Africa in 2007.

“Yes, I’m actually thinking about it,” Oprah said, to cheers and applause from the audience. “I’m actually thinking about where, and the reason why I called it the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls: South Africa [is that] even then, I was thinking this will just be one. This will be the satellite school and then I will do others. It’s taken me a while to get it right, it took me about ten years to actually get it right. I’m thinking about it.”

12 years ago, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls officially opened its doors in South Africa, designed to give marginalized girls access to high-level education. Oprah was first inspired to open the school during a trip to the country with the political leader and philanthropist Nelson Mandela, who attended the opening ceremony.

During the interview, Noah asked her what advice she gives to the girls at her school. “You only have to be yourself,” she responded, “because there’s no one else in the world who is quite like you. What your real job is to come to the world and understand that your job is to figure out what it is you have to offer.”

Oprah also discussed plans for her newly-announced mental health documentary series, which she is co-creating with Prince Harry for Apple’s forthcoming streaming platform. “Harry and I are gonna normalize it to the point where people are like, ‘Hey! I got mental illness!’” she said. “That’s what you want, to call it out to the point where it’s no longer such a stigmatized big deal, it’s no longer a taboo.”

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