Home / News / Oprah Winfrey Donates $500,000 To Newark High School For “Lights On Program”

Oprah Winfrey Donates $500,000 To Newark High School For “Lights On Program”

In 2018, we reported the good things the principal of West Side High School was doing for his school.

Akbar Cook noticed that many of his students were missing classes after being bullied for their hygiene and the condition of their clothes. Cook installed washers and dryers for students who were being bullied for having dirty uniforms.

Now, Cook is doing even more for his students by opening the high school on Friday nights. The “Lights On” program provides free activities, food, and drinks to students every Friday evening throughout the school year.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey heard about what Cook was doing and stopped by the school Friday evening to surprise almost 400 students.

Winfrey didn’t just show up but also donated $500,000 to help fund the “Lights On” program through the summer.  

“So I heard about West Side and all the great things that are happening here,” Winfrey told the students. “So I’m going to leave here tonight and leave you with a half a million dollars.”

Oprah also bought the student’s pizza and handed out Shop Rite gift cards, according to CBS Evening News.

Awesome job, Mr. Cook!

View this post on Instagram

Blessed. @oprah @oprahmagazine

A post shared by Akbar Cook (@principal_akbar) on

About Peachkyss

IPeachkyss is the Fashion Writer and Content Curator for Baller Alert, who keeps reader up-to-date on the latest trends, the latest luxury brand collections, and how to "ball" on a budget.  Peachkyss has her Bachelors in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics from Norfolk State University and Masters in Middle Grades Mathematics from Walden University.  Have a question about what your favorite celeb is wearing or fashion advice, email me at [email protected] "Style is a way to say who are you are without having to speak."

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