12 May 2010

The one that got away

Dedicated to the girl with a dream.

She was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi to parents that were never married. She was conceived from only one sexual encounter. Her mother was a housemaid, and her father was a coal miner and then a barber before becoming a city councilman. They broke up shortly after her mother became pregnant.

After she was born she traveled north with her mother and grandmother to spend her first six years in rural poverty. They were so poor that when she was a child she wore dresses made from potato sacks. She was often picked on by other kids. Her grandmother taught her to read before the age of three and took her to the local church, where she was nicknamed "The Preacher" for her ability to recite Bible verses.When she was 6 her and her mother moved to an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. Her mother, who was less supportive than her grandmother, worked long hours as a maid.

A a young girl, she was molested by her cousin, her uncle and a family friend, starting when she was just 9-years old. At 13, after suffering years of abuse, she ran away from home. When she was 14, she become pregnant, her frustrated mother sent her to live with her father and her son died shortly after birth.
Most kids given this plight in life would have given up or been given up on. Fortunately, she had one person in her life that gave her the support that would changer her and our world, her father.

Her father was strict but always encouraging, always making her education a priority. She became an honor student, was voted Most Popular Girl, joined her high school speech team and placed second in the nation in dramatic interpretation. She won an oratory contest, which guaranteed her a full scholarship to Tennessee State University to study communications.

When she was a teenager her first job was at a local grocery store. And as a child she played games interviewing her corncob doll along with the crows on the fence of her family's property. Later on she acknowledged her grandmother's influence, saying it was her grandmother who encouraged her to speak in public and "gave me a positive sense of myself".

Born in rural poverty, and then raised by a mother on welfare in a poor urban neighborhood, she became a millionaire at age 32. At age 41 her wealth reached a net worth of $340 million, she replace Bill Cosby as the only black American on the Forbes 400.

Today she is considered to be the world's most influential woman. As of September 2009, she is reported by Forbes to be worth over $2.3 billion, is the first black woman billionaire in world history and has over taken former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as the richest self-made woman in America.

This is the rages to rapes to riches story of a woman who overcame impossible odds to get to the top and has decided to bring lots of people with her. This woman is Oprah Winfrey. With her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and her support in the election of Barack Obama, earning him over 1 million votes, whether you agree with her or not, she'll force you to become inspired and rethink your own situation. Oprah is truly "the one that got away". She has showed us that you can become whatever you want in this world, so what are you waiting for!
SOURCES:
theamazingmind by Lynn Zook