JCSU Grad inspired by 10-year mentorship with Oprah Winfrey

A Johnson C. Smith University graduate inviting a special guest to her commencement celebration.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Johnson C. Smith University graduate inviting a special guest to her commencement celebration.

We know her as Oprah, but to Andronica Klass, she’s Mama O.

“Whatever dilemma you’re going through, she has this calming energy. She’s a mom,” Andronica Klass said while laughing.

Klass has known Oprah since she was 12 years old.  Klass was handpicked by the superstar to attend the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

The school opened in South Africa in 2007, and aims to help underprivileged girls.

“Ever since, she’s been very supportive, ” said Klass.

The bond between Klass and Winfrey are truly one of a mother and daughter.

So tight, Klass said, Oprah cleared her schedule to attend her college graduation celebration.

Oprah even posted a video of the two on Instagram.

“I knew she would be there. I  wanted her to have an experience in person where she saw what she did. Her seeing me in that cap and gown was the best gift I can give her.”

Now Andronica is passing that gift along to high school students across the city.

In April she and her friends wrote a grant to Google to bring a technology camp to Charlotte.

This summer, the group received $5,000 from Google to head a camp teaching students about the ins and outs of technology.

“This program has been amazing,” said Zavier Reid. “I learned a lot of new things about coding and making my own website.”

Another student now knows what he will pursue after high school graduation.

“Because of this program, I’m now inspired to do something in computer technology,” said Emanuel Thomas.

Andronica is just happy she’s making a difference in their lives like Oprah made a difference in hers.

“Provides faith and hope, and I think that sums up this experience for me,” she said.  “It provides faith and hope to students who are just as deserving.”

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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