Applicants will go through a rigorous application process to select the top 15 students. These recipients will exhibit “both academic excellence and leadership within their respective communities,” People reported.
“I am where I am today because of education and the support of teachers throughout my life,” Winfrey said in a statement. “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,” Winfrey adds. “And I look forward to watching each of them flourish.”
The 15 recipients have been selected for the 4 years program.
Winfrey surprised the students with a special video announcing the recipients.
“Everything that you’ve overcome in your life,” the Media Mogul says in the video. “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.”