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Oprah Winfrey Claps Back at Critic Who Questioned Her Charitable Efforts

Junie Sihlangu
May 22, 2019
12:57 P.M.

On Sunday, businesswoman and media mogul Oprah Winfrey delivered the commencement address for the graduating class at Colorado College. On a photo she shared of the event, a social media user tried to berate her but the celebrity wasn’t having it.

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To honor Colorado College’s Class of 2019, Oprah Winfrey, 65, shared a photo from the event to her Instagram page. In the caption of the post, she explained that she had “shook hands with all 571 members of @coloradocollege’s Class of 2019 and gave them a copy of The Path Made Clear.”

“The Path Made Clear” is the multi-talented star’s latest book. A social media user took that moment to try and criticize Winfrey instead of appreciating her efforts in a since-deleted tweet.

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The person admonished the television host for not paying off of the student’s debt and tagged Morehouse College. The comment from the social media user appeared to be a referencing billionaire Robert F. Smith, who had vowed in his commencement speech at Morehouse College over the weekend to pay off the student loans for the entire Class of 2019.

“I’m here to tell you that you actually do get to transform the world every day by your actions."

Proving that she wasn’t one to take false criticism lying down, Winfrey fired back with a comment that shut down the troll. She wrote: “Already paid 13m in scholarships. Have put over 400 men through Morehouse.”

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The troll clearly had no knowledge of how much Winfrey valued education. To name a few of her contributions, the celebrity built a Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa which accepts underprivileged students for free.

According to NBC News, over the weekend she also made a $500,000 donation to a popular after-school program at West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey. As if she had anticipated the troll, Winfrey also spoke about giving during her speech at Colorado College.

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She stated:

“I’m here to tell you that you actually do get to transform the world every day by your actions. Small steps lead to big accomplishments. The most important thing is how you’re touching other people’s lives.”

Winfrey encouraged the graduates saying:

“The truth is, you cannot fix everything. But what you can do, here and now, is make a decision, because life is about decisions. And the decision is that you will use your life in service; you will be in service to life. You will speak up. You will show up. You will stand up. You will sit in. You will volunteer. You will vote. You will shout out. You will help. You will lend a hand.”

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She continued:

“You will offer your talent and your kindness however you can, and you will radically transform whatever moment you’re in — which leads to bigger moments.”

Adding: “You have no idea what your legacy will be.” Winfrey has had the pleasure of being a commencement speaker at a number of schools including Stanford, Harvard, and Howard universities.

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Over the weekend, Winfrey made a surprise visit to the West Side High School where she made the announcement to a packed gymnasium of screaming students that she was donating the money. Principal Akbar Cook was the one who started the "Lights On" program to allow students a safe space to hang out after school.

The program also provides a venue for students to enjoy a meal or do their laundry.

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