Oprah Winfrey: From Rags to Riches

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
– Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Winfrey) is a talk show host, actress, media executive, billionaire, and philanthropist, born on January 29, 1954, in Mississippi, USA. Best known for hosting her talk show called “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Oprah is a very influential person who inspires those all around the world.

I was specifically drawn to Oprah Winfrey due to her story. Oprah Winfrey interested me because of her upbringing and how she became the woman she is today. Born into poverty, Oprah came from a difficult childhood; her unmarried parents separated and she grew up with her grandmother, then was sent to live with her mother and two half-brothers in a poor and dangerous neighbourhood, and was repeatedly sexually abused by male relatives and friends of her mother who she thought she trusted. Following that, she was sent to live with her father at 12. This was perhaps the turning point in her childhood and Oprah says her father saved her life. The challenges Oprah has had to overcome, further my interest in learning more about her.

Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty and had a rough upbringing. Although I cannot connect to her in that specific way, we share a similarity of what we want to do in the world. Oprah Winfrey is very influential and inspires many people around the world. Although I may not have the drive to become an actress, talk show host, or television producer, I have a passion for inspiring others and Oprah exemplifies the type of person I strive to become. Oprah Winfrey is passionate about what she does, is extremely hardworking, and has a knack for creativity. I feel that I am hardworking, passionate about my interests, and coming up with new ideas is something I enjoy. Oprah also pushes outside her comfort zone, stays persistent through failure, and has a specific focus. I aspire to emulate Oprah’s determination and selflessness in all she does.

I believe that Oprah exemplifies my goals in TALONS to a large degree as most of her qualities and traits are what I want to work on and get better at doing. This includes staying persistent throughout failure and taking on challenges that come my way, working hard on all my projects and assignments, and pushing outside my comfort zone. Oprah not only exemplifies my goals in TALONS but also the person I want to be outside of an educational standpoint.

Barriers that may cause a block in connecting to Oprah Winfrey includes class, religious faith, and geography. Oprah is a multi-billionaire and very wealthy, and I am privileged and financially stable. Although there is a difference, I don’t feel as it’s a big deal because Oprah had to work hard to become wealthy. I was raised financially stable and in a privileged household while Oprah was born into poverty and in a financially unstable home. There was a point in her life where Oprah was in my situation and this is a key thing to address in my speech. Oprah was raised a Baptist and I am not religious. I live in Canada while Oprah’s main residence is located in California. I don’t believe this poses as a major barrier, because geographically we both live in North America.

Oprah Winfrey uses her position to inspire, educate, and empower people all over the world. Some say she is the most influential woman in the world. Some of her many accomplishments include The Oprah Winfrey Show 1986-2011,  her television network, and countless magazine covers. She has been a talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Oprah is the chairwoman and CEO of Harpo Productions and The Oprah Winfrey Network. Winfrey is featured in TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people list, she has co-authored five books, and she started a school to educate and develop leadership skills for young women in South Africa. From being born into extreme poverty to self-made billionaire, Oprah Winfrey has made a positive impact in this generation and continues to do so. I feel that Oprah will be remembered in 50 years, due to all of her contributions to the world.

Oprah has gone through economic hardship, sexual abuse at a young age, to becoming pregnant at 14 then losing her first child. Most of her challenges and obstacles were faced in her childhood. Oprah also lost two loved ones; her brother and sister. She got through these challenges by remaining positive through it all. She pushed through by believing that there is light at the end of the tunnel and staying selfless no matter what she was going through. Oprah was hired as a prime-time news anchor and after the network failed, she was blamed. Although she recognized her “failures” she never gave up and let that get in the way of her success. Oprah wants to inspire others through her story and what she has accomplished and she fears confrontation from others.

My goal for the next step in my research is to read one of her books and watch videos of her speeches to gain more insight and a further understanding on who Oprah is and what she wants to do in the world. By doing so, I want to come up with a creative way of displaying her story in my learning centre.

Digital Footprint Assignment

How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples.

Your digital footprint could either positively or negatively impact your future opportunities. If you are looking for a job, your future employer will most likely do a quick background check by looking up your name on the internet. They may choose not to hire you from finding inappropriate posts on social media, immature and disrespectful comments, or any evidence that leads them to believe you are not a good candidate for the job.

It is important to understand that everything you post, comment, like, share, or retweet stays on the internet forever. A racist tweet that you tweeted 7 years ago can be found and traced back to you. You may argue that you’ve changed from the past and the person you were 7 years ago doesn’t amount to the person you are now, but what you did in the past is still attached to your name and will be for the rest of your life. Your digital footprint is always following you and that is why it is very important to be careful of what you say and do on the internet.

There is also another side to this and that is if your future employer finds positive and respectful information connected to you on the internet, they may be more inclined to consider you as a candidate for the job. Your university or college will also review your online presence. It would be sad if you met all the aspects your dream university was looking for, but to be rejected because of something immature you commented online.

Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.

A way to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe is to always think before you share. Before doing something online that could negatively impact you in the future, you should think about if what you’re going is how you want others to see you as. You want your digital footprint to positively reflect who you are as a person.

Another strategy is using privacy settings. Setting your social media accounts to private can be safer because you can view your followers, and control who sees your profile and your posts. Whether you have your privacy settings on, or your accounts are public, it is important to think about your digital footprint.

My last tip is don’t overshare. The only way to make sure to avoid negative effects from your digital footprint is don’t share things that you don’t want the whole world to know. Sadly, anything you’ve done online could be used against you and your past decisions do impact your future.

If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently online? Think of what type of advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students. How could you go about explaining it to them?

If I could go back in time, there isn’t anything I can think of that I would do differently. I think that what I put out online positively reflects who I am as a person and my digital footprint is safe and appropriate.

Advice I would pass on to other students is always think before you share, don’t post personal information, and use privacy settings online. To explain it and to get them to understand it, I would provide real-world examples and show that everything you put out online is traced back to you. Anything you post, like, share, or comment stays on the internet forever and that is why it’s important to take care of your digital footprint.

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Training Post

You are now going to create your very first post. In a separate tab or browser window, go to your Dashboard on the left and go to  Posts -> Add New.

1) Title – Create a title for your blog post. Your title will be: Digital Footprint Assignment

2) Body – This is where you place your content of the post – text, videos, pictures, etc. Follow the instructions on the Digital Footprint Assignment page to see what questions you need to answer here.

3) Tool Bar – In your toolbar you can “Add Media” and “Add Documents” into your posts, this is the best way to create visual representations. You can also change fonts, hyperlink, etc.

4) Publish – Here is where you control what items are public and private. You can also control when they are published to your website.

5) Categories – Here is where you choose where you want your post to go. This is your digital binder with all of your subjects. Make sure to categorize each post with the relevant subject. E.g. Categories -> English

6) Tags –  Here is where you tag posts with one or two of the most readily applicable Core Competencies. These tags can help you find things quicker on your blog and help you stay organised. E.g. Tag -> creativethinking

7) Publish – When you are done, simply “Publish” it. If it has been edited, press “Republish” to update with the latest version of the content.