Tyler Perry served as commencement speaker for The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG) 7th graduating class last Saturday.
Mr. Perry addressed the girls and their families, speaking to the importance of being chosen to have the opportunity to attend OWLAG: “Before the ceremony this morning, I spoke to Ms. Winfrey and asked her how she chose the girls. She said she looks for something special, something that sparkles and is unique. Today that is all I saw. I saw all the hope, brilliance and intelligence. Being the chosen one is special and wonderful. It gives you the opportunity to strive and go higher and do things that you would have not had the chance to do.”
During a December 2000 visit with Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey pledged to build a school in South Africa. As that commitment broadened, she established The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation (OWLAF), to which she has contributed more than $140 million toward the creation of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa (OWLAG). The Academy opened in January 2007 and currently serves grades 8 through 12.