Oprah Smashes Dream Academy Gala Goal with *Dream* Surprise

Credit Imagine Photography UDSA

Was it a dream??! No. The U.S. Dream Academy did receive a surprise donation of $2.5 million from Oprah Winfrey at its annual “Power of A Dream” celebration, which also served as the charity’s 25th Anniversary earlier this month.

Winfrey appeared via video message to attendees of the event at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, and smashed the nonprofit’s fundraising goal of $1 million for the event — to be used to invest in the lives of children of incarcerated parents.

Credit Imagine Photography UDSA

“Education is one of the forces that helped me be who I am in the world today. I’m a believer in helping children be the best that they can be, as this Academy has done for a quarter of a century,” said Oprah Winfrey in the video message. “As you celebrate this blessed 25th anniversary, I want to honor the vital work that you do to lift children up and show them what is possible. I am humbled to continue to support the U.S. Dream Academy, and will donate $2.5 Million to your efforts and your mission.”

In addition to this year’s generous donation, Oprah has a two-decade history of supporting the U.S. Dream Academy. Her donations through the years have totaled over $10 million dollars.

The U.S. Dream Academy, founded in 1998 by GRAMMY-nominated gospel singer Wintley Phipps, is a national after-school program that aims to break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration and help children reach for their dreams.