Oprah's boyfriend shares his message

WEST PHILADELPHIA - August 10, 2009 On Monday he shared it with high school students in West Philadelphia.

Close to 200 high school students spent Monday morning in the library at Sayre High School. School hasn't started yet, but these students from Sayre, West Philly and University City High Schools were here to learn some important life lessons.

Their teacher: Stedman Graham, best-selling author, businessman and long-time boyfriend of Oprah Winfrey. He started by asking the students a seemingly simple question.

"Who are you," he asked the group. "When you don't know who you are, you're lost."

Graham then encouraged the students to spend every day learning, thinking and growing to find what they love, who they are, and what their place is in the world. He told them most people don't do that and end up being slaves who have others define their lives.

"How do you move from slavery to ownership? How do you from follower to leader? You got to be able to think."

It was a serious and powerful message. But for at least some of the students, the lesson hit home.

"I'm going to be my own person; I'm basically going to stand out and take charge of my own life and to think," said Jamie Hall.

"I'm going to be an owner now and instead of being selfish, instead of just making myself an owner, I'm going to make my family an owner too. I'm going to be determined to do something with myself," said Shaynteese Robinson.

In a few more weeks all of these students will be hitting the books but the educators who organized Monday's event are hoping that they will take life lessons with them into this school year and far beyond.

Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.