Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls Celebrates 10th Anniversary

LOVELY: Former OWLAG Students meet with business leaders from around South Africa during Corporate Day at The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in Johannesburg.

THE Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation (OWLAF) hosted its second Corporate Day career networking event held for graduates of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Executives from over 40 of South Africa’s leading companies including Bidvest Bank, Bowmans Law, Brunswick, Engen, FNB and many more participated in the day which offered the former students an opportunity to discuss potential internships and job opportunities and gain a greater understanding of a variety of different industries.

“As many of our students come from families lacking professional networks, we recognise one of our roles is to assist them in making those meaningful connections. We invite everyone to campus because we believe that anyone who sees the school first-hand and interacts directly with our incredible graduates will understand the value these young ladies will offer any company they have an opportunity to connect with,” said Rebecca Sykes, president of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.

Recent literature suggests that young people who have had internships are more attractive to prospective employers, therefore OWLAF encourages local business leaders to consider the graduates for internships as well as permanent jobs. The keynote speaker for the day was Judy Sikuza, deputy executive director of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, who spoke on the importance of education and ethical leadership.

Additional guests included Dr Ernest Messina, CEO of AHI, the national organisation of small business chambers in South Africa and a former OWLAG board member. Previous successful connections stemming from Corporate Day have resulted in bursaries from Envisionit, Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters Foundation and others.

“This is one of the most important days for us at OWLAG as we are always looking for ways to connect with corporate partners of all industries to further assist us in shaping the girls’ future – and we are grateful to those who have come forth in support of our girls. Networking is an important part of any journey and it pleases us that we are able to provide these opportunities for the OWLAG girls,” said Melvin King, headmaster, OWLAG.

Founded in 2007 by global media leader and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, this year marks the 10th anniversary of OWLAG, which provides education to underprivileged girls from across South Africa. There are 310 students currently in attendance at the Leadership Academy.

Images: supplied.

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Shernovia Reddy

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