Platform for Good: Oprah Winfrey's Gift of Service

Article excerpt

As a young news anchor in Baltimore, Oprah Winfrey hated being sent to report on other people's tragedies. "Everything in my instinct told me that I should be doing something; I should be lending a hand."

Her desire to help people persisted after she became a talk-show host. "When I stopped just being on TV and looking at TV as a job and decided to use television as a platform to serve my viewers, that alone changed the trajectory of my success," she told the 2008 graduating class at Stanford University.

Now in her 25th and final season with The Oprah Winfrey Show, she uses that platform to discuss topics ranging from literacy, education and social issues to personal finance, well-being and relationships. "It really is more than a show; it's a voice to the world in order to open people's hearts," she says.

Winfrey's influence extends well beyond talk. As a philanthropist and humanitarian, she has made financial donations in the neighborhood of $400 million and founded charitable organizations including Oprah's Angel Network, The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program and The Oprah Winfrey Foundation that have tangibly impacted millions of lives around the world. …