The Foundation

Message from the President

Rebecca SykesThrough the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, Ms Winfrey funds the Academy and supports its graduates along their post-matric journey. In 2019 the 8th OWLAG class enters university with the assistance of the Foundation.

We could not be more proud of the accomplishments of our Pioneers (OWLAG Class of 2011), Legends (Class of 2012), Moguls (Class of 2013), Paragons (Class of 2014), Captains (Class of 2015), Luminaries (Class of 2016), O’Mavericks (Class of 2017) and Orions (Class of 2018). They have persevered through the rigours of high school and defied the odds to progress to tertiary study.

In August 2017, we hosted the second ever Corporate Day at OWLAG. At the first such event in 2015, we invited business leaders to campus to meet OWLAF students in their final year of university. More than 90 corporate and foundation representatives attended the August 2017 event along with 125 of our university students. Some of the organizations that attended have offered those nearing university graduation internships or full employment. Moreover, several businesses have made bursaries and vacation jobs available to students still studying at varsity. The Foundation is maintaining the momentum of the Corporate Day success to enlist additional potential partners to join generous donors such as:

  • FedEx
  • Envisionit Dare to Dream Bursary Foundation
  • WDB Investment Holdings
  • Standard Bank
  • Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters Foundation
  • Geness Foundation
  • Callahan Family Trust
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Moody’s Foundation
  • Julia Brown
  • Camille John and Bank of America

The Foundation continues to offer funding and provide mentors for our students and we are grateful to all those who share with us in the important work of training tomorrow’s leaders.

History and Mission

Through a generous personal investment by Ms. Oprah Winfrey, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation (OWLAF) was established to fund the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa (OWLAG).

From the start, Oprah Winfrey knew that university study was essential to the students achieving their professional and personal goals, contributing to society and establishing financial independence.

The goals of the Foundation are to:

1. Serve as a bridge between the Academy and tertiary institutions.

2. Support the students through their tertiary studies.

3. Identify bursaries to fund students in tertiary programmes.


In the interest of long-term sustainability of the Foundation, we are seeking partners in furthering our mission and there are many opportunities to get involved. Gifts at every level are welcome as we see them as an endorsement of the work of the Academy and the Foundation. Gifts at certain levels will receive special acknowledgement.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the Foundation, you may make use of one of the following options:

Cheques can be mailed to:

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation
OW Management LLC
1041 N Formosa Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90046, USA

Online donations

Donate Now

Contact: Rebecca Miller Sykes, President
Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation/Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation


Please note that the Foundation does not make donations to individuals or institutions. To find out how you can contribute to the Academy or fund a bursary for one of our university students, please contact the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.