The Ripple Effect of Oprah's One Act of Kindness
Photo: Ruven Afanador
Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Douglas
Bridging the Gap
On a trip to South Africa, Douglas was impressed by the dedication of local business school students, many of whom walked eight miles to class. He and a classmate started the Bridging the Gap Between a House and a Home Scholarship, which gave $50 to roughly 100 African students.
In 2008 Bridging the Gap recipients took part in a conference at Morehouse, where they explored, among other things, strategies for improving AIDS education efforts in South Africa.
Habitat for Humanity
Douglas worked with Habitat for Humanity to construct three-bedroom homes in Meridian, Mississippi, for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Photo: Courtesy of Van Adamson
Healing in Iraq
In 2009 Adamson treated American soldiers—often amputees injured by improvised explosive devices—and critically injured Iraqi citizens at Air Force Theater Hospital in Balad, Iraq.
Adamson currently sees veterans, soldiers, and their families in cardiology clinics at Wilford Hall and Brooke Army medical centers, both in San Antonio. "The scholarship started a ripple effect," he says.
Adamson plans to open free primary care clinics in impoverished neighborhoods and hopes to play a role in crafting public health legislation.
Photo: Echoing Green
Teach for America
After graduation, Jewett became a bilingual elementary school teacher in the Bronx, working with kids who rarely left their neighborhoods.
National Center for Global Engagement (NC4GE)
Drawing from his teaching experiences, Jewett cofounded NC4GE, which has sent more than 250 students from high-needs schools to study abroad in 26 countries.
On an NC4GE trip to Panama, high school student Serah Wise met girls and women who lacked basic supplies like toothpaste and tampons. Upon returning to the United States, she helped start Project Reach, a group that sent 1,000 toiletry kits back to Panama.
Mujeres Bella Leer
Through NC4GE, high school student Adia Dightman visited villages in Argentina where literacy rates were low,then started a reading program for women in Houston, her hometown.
Photo: Douglas Adesko
Sons of Oprah Campaign
This year Rasheed and two other alums encouraged 127 Scholars to donate $300,000 and pledge $1.2 million by 2014. Combined with the Oprah fund, they're supporting 71 students.
David Rodell Boyd II Shoebox Christmas Program
Started in 2009 by current Oprah Scholar Julian Boyd to honor his brother, who died in a car crash, Shoebox has given away hundreds of toys to impoverished preschoolers in Atlanta.
As an associate at J.P. Morgan in 1995, Rasheed met Luis Belén, an intern from East Harlem. Rasheed became Belén's mentor, introducing him to colleagues, teaching him trading floor etiquette, and buying him an interview suit. Belén now owns a business consulting firm.
Inspired by Rasheed's example of service, Belén launched Medic Success, a firm that connects health providers and agencies with underserved (particularly Latino) communities.
Photo: Ross Oscar Knight
A Home in Haiti
King started the nonprofit A Home in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake devastated the island nation. He used the Internet and Twitter to raise $2 million in emergency aid, and supplied nearly 12,000 tents to people who were left homeless.
World Aid Now
Nate Cousineau, a King Twitter follower, was so inspired by A Home in Haiti he decided to launch World Aid Now. The group has funded the construction of 30 new homes for flood victims in Pakistan.
Photographer Ross Oscar Knight joined King in Haiti, where he captured the earthquake's aftermath. One of his prints was auctioned off to benefit Lance Armstrong's foundation for cancer research.
Community Service in Atlanta
Motivated by the generosity he'd been shown, King spent three years as a motivational speaker in Atlanta's juvenile justice system. He now uses social media to raise money for worthy causes, among them, providing 8,000 meals to poor families and more than $1 million for flood victims.
Disaster Relief and Disaster Training (DRADT)
After volunteering with King's flood relief program in 2009, Chance Craven founded DRADT, which offers logistical support to aid workers and victims of natural disasters.
Photo: Courtesy of Lawrence Stallings
Family Life Theatre
As a member of the Family Life Theatre company, Stallings visits New York City middle schools and high schools to perform skits that foster an open dialogue with students about bullying, unprotected sex, and drug and alcohol abuse.
Stallings hopes to one day use theater as a treatment strategy in a children's therapy practice.
Photo: Courtesy of Reginald Cleaver
As president of the Young People's Division of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 2007 to 2011, he led fund-raisers that yielded more than $50,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti and more than $25,000 for scholarships around the world.
The disaster relief funds Cleaver raised were donated to AME-SADA, a humanitarian, nonprofit arm of the church, and used to provide medical services and counseling to patients in hard-to-reach communities.
Through his work with Central Outreach & Advocacy Center, Cleaver helped Atlanta's homeless obtain state identification, birth certificates, and other documentation necessary to apply for jobs. He's also volunteered with Emily's Haven, an outreach ministry that offers GED classes and other services to impoverished women.
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