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Oprah Winfrey’s Charitable Foundation Donates Three Million to Fund Scholarships to Help South LA Residents

Oprah Winfrey Headshot
Oprah Winfrey/Copyright Discovery Communications, Inc.

SoLa Impact’s I Can Foundation will provide up to 200 scholarships to South LA Residents Furloughed or Laid-off due to COVID-19

By: Angela Redding

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/27/2020–“As I continue to seek out ways to support underserved communities, I was struck by the unique multi-layered approach to effect real change to the systematic barriers of access to healthy food, quality health care, and educational opportunities,” said Winfrey.


South LA families who have been furloughed, laid-off, had wages and or hours reduced due to the pandemic and possibly facing extreme poverty or homelessness now have an opportunity to overcome the seemingly impossible challenges surrounding them.

Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour Opening Remarks – San Francisco, CA ( Photo: Getty Images)

The COVID Retraining & Recovery (CORE) Fund—an educational and career-building initiative has been set up to specifically focus on enabling vocational degrees in healthcare and technology in an effort to create jobs and pathways to economic advancement for  South LA’s predominantly Black and Latino community.

The CORE Fund, set up by SoLa Impact’s non-profit affiliate, SoLa I Can Foundation, will provide up to 200 scholarships to South LA Residents that have been laid-off or furloughed due to COVID-19.

Founding sponsors include:

NaHCO3, Ashley and Marc Merrill, (Founders of Lunya and Riot Games)
SoLa Impact
The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation

Oprah Winfrey Chariable Foundation logo


Oprah Winfrey reached out to organizations that were supporting needs arising from the pandemic, while also addressing systemic inequality and social justice. As part of the initiative, SoLa I Can Foundation partnered with two other non-profits, SEE-LA and Watts Healthcare Corporation, to establish “South LA Forward” to address the urgent needs of the community including food insecurity, access to healthcare, and economic disparity.

Winfrey’s Charitable Foundation donated three million dollars to the SoLa Impact’s CORE Fund in support of the South LA area.

“We were incredibly honored to be selected by the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation,” stated Sherri Francois, the Executive Director of SoLa Impact’s I Can Foundation. “Via the CORE Fund, we will be able to truly change the trajectory of hundreds of lives. In addition to scholarships, the SoLa I Can team and our partners will be providing mentorship, coaching, tracking, and ultimately job placement for the CORE Scholars.”

Martin Muoto, CEO of SoLa Impact and a leading social impact investor in communities of color added:

“We quickly recognized that COVID-19 would have a disproportionate impact on the black and brown communities in Los Angeles, thus we launched the CORE Fund. We believe addressing economic inequality and racial injustice requires a wholistic approach – spanning education, housing, and economic development – and are thrilled that Ms. Winfrey has been such a strong supporter in addressing these issues.”

The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation is guided by the intention of supporting those in need and supports many organizations around the world.


For information on resources available and how to apply for a scholarship click here: Sola Resources