Oprah Winfrey Endows NYU Program for African Women
The Oprah Winfrey Foundation has awarded a $2.5 million endowment to New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service for the creation of The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program for African Women. The program, which will allow African women to pursue graduate studies in public policy and management at the Wagner School, is the first known of its kind at an American university. Winfrey made the surprise announcement last month at the Wagner School’s gala dinner honoring Nelson Mandela.
“I believe that one of a nation’s most important resources is its young people, and the key that allows young people to create a better world and a brighter future is education. Now, more than ever, it is vitally important for Africa,” said Winfrey. “Investing in the higher education of individual African women is an investment in positive change.”
The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program for African Women will help support development efforts in Africa by educating African women for leadership positions within the health, nonprofit and governmental sectors in their home countries. The $2.5 million gift will endow the program in perpetuity. The fellowships are need-based scholarships that cover tuition and fees, room and board and travel expenses of each student. Each female student will enter the Wagner School’s seven-monthlong Masters of Science in Management of International Public Service Organizations program or the two-yearlong Masters of Public Administration program. All will have the opportunity to study in the Wagner School’s top-ranked public finance, health policy and management, urban policy and nonprofit management programs.
“We are grateful and proud to partner with Ms. Winfrey to help educate African women to assume leadership roles within their own countries and support critical health and economic development efforts in Africa,” says Jo Ivey Boufford, dean of the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.
The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program for African Women is part of the Wagner School’s Fund for African Public Service Education. The fund is an important component of the school’s growing international initiative and was created to establish African public service fellowships that would support opportunities for promising students to gain the skills needed to transform their personal commitment into public leadership in management, finance, and policy-making for government, healthcare and nonprofit sectors. The fund also supports the development of academic partnerships with leading African universities to permit mutual learning and capacity building with their faculties to prepare individuals for public service and health sector positions relevant to country needs.
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