Oprah Winfrey gives $2.5M to Silver Spring-based U.S. Dream Academy

Oprah Winfrey announced the $2.5 million gift via video message at the group’s annual “Power of a Dream” event on Oct. 2, 2023. (Courtesy U.S. Dream Academy)

Silver Spring, Maryland-based The U.S. Dream Academy, a nonprofit that supports the children of incarcerated parents, received a surprise donation of $2.5 million this week from Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey announced the gift via video message at the group’s annual “Power of a Dream” event in honor of the charity’s 25th anniversary. The Gala took place Oct. 2 at the Museum of the Bible in D.C.

“Education is one of the forces that helped me be who I am in the world today. I am a believer in helping children be the best that the can be, as the Academy has done for a quarter of a century,” Winfrey said.

The academy set a fundraising goal from its supporters of $1 million this year, bringing the total to $3.5 million with the addition of Winfrey’s gift.

Winfrey has donated a total of $10 million through the years to the charity.

The U.S. Dream Academy was founded in 1998 by Grammy-nominated gospel single Wintley Phipps.

The organization operates a national after-school program for the children it serves. In addition to D.C., it currently runs seven “Dream Centers” including in Baltimore, Houston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and San Bernardino, California.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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