One of the many reasons people love Oprah Winfrey is for her good heart and caring nature. The media mogul recently donated $500,000 to a Newark, N.J. high school, after she heard about the institution’s after-school program.
Winfrey threw the students at West Side High School a pizza party and gifted each student with a $50 gift card to ShopRite. West Side is home to the “Lights On” program, which –according to northjersey.com– “provides recreational activities at the school after hours every Friday.”
“I thought what could I do?” Oprah reportedly told the students during her visit on Friday (May 17). “So I’m going to leave here tonight and leave you with a half a million dollars.” According to a video Winfrey posted on her Facebook page, the school’s principal Akbar Cook and his family cook each week for “Lights On.”
Cook has been gaining notoriety for his efforts to provide a better learning environment for his students. In his first year as the high school’s principal, Cook had five washers and driers added to the school after Officials found that several students absences were linked to a lack of clean clothes and access to washers and dryers in their homes and communities.
“We are really laying the foundation for what a community school looks like,” Cook said during his appearance on Ellen in September 2018, “and what better way to change the world than a school?” Through the help of Cheerios, DeGeneres donated $50,000 to the school.