As graduation season marches on, Oprah Winfrey is making it a point to attend all of the graduation ceremonies for the girls who attended her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa and are graduating this year from universities or colleges in the United States.
Speaking exclusively to The Huffington Post, Oprah opened up about the inspiration she draws from the girls that she sees.
“Seeing these students walk across the stage at graduation and accept their diploma – I am filled with a pride I didn’t know existed,” Oprah told HuffPost. “I would have to say it’s one the biggest rewards in my life – to see these girls become the women I always knew they would become.”
The girls call her “Mom Oprah,” and she calls them her “daughter girls.”
“I opened my school for girls in South Africa because it has been shown throughout the world that when you impact a girl’s life through education, that opportunity is given back to her, her family and her community,” Oprah said.
“I have always tried to be there for my girls over the years, spending time with them, talking about their hopes, fears and aspirations, and sharing life lessons I’ve learned along the way,” she continued. “I want them to know they have my support in all of the big and smallest of ways.”
Thus far, Oprah has attended ceremonies at Agnes Scott College, Smith College, and Skidmore; all of those universities asked her to be a guest commencement speaker.Other universities she has attended include Johnson C. Smith University, Elon University, and Colorado College.