Media mogul, philanthropist, actress and business woman Oprah Winfrey is teaming up with Fusion to celebrate ten years of her Leadership Academy For Girls and catch up with the institution's first graduating class of young ladies who are now preparing to reach new milestones in their lives.
The one-hour documentary, appropriately titled O Girls, will follow five of the young women from the Academy's inaugural class as they navigate their way into adulthood while making positive impacts on their communities. An enlightening ode to the true power of educational opportunities, the program also takes a deeper look into the traumatizing realities many of the girls faced at home prior to being selected to attend the Academy, including heartbreaking stories of violence, sexual abuse and sudden deaths of close family members. The inspiring young women also reflect on the pressure to succeed after graduating from the Academy.
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"My work with these girls feels as natural to me as if they were my own children. For me, this is what mothering was meant to be,” Winfrey said in an interview with Fusion.
“I wanted to help girls who really wanted it. They could see the possibility for themselves, if only. If only they had the means to do it."
At the center of the documentary is Fusion's Kimberly Brooks, a former Oprah Winfrey Show intern whose bold leap of faith eventually landed her in South Africa with Winfrey for the opening of the school. Ten years later, the film sees Brooks reunite with her mentor, as well as the five young women who have become like sisters to her, for an in-depth conversation reflecting on all the Academy has done to provide priceless educational opportunities to young girls over the years. The introspective talk also hears Winfrey open up about what motivated her to start the Academy, her relationship with the girls today, and the bond she's formed with Brooks.
"For me, this is a living, breathing story," Brooks says.
"This journey continues for all of us. As a woman of color, I am grateful for an opportunity to produce content about women of color accomplishing incredible things in this world.”
O Girls will premiere January 15, 2017 at 8 p.m. on Fusion. We'll certainly be tuning in, will you?