Black Girls Code Founder Kimberly Bryant Wins “Standing O-Vation” Award at Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend


Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend recently made its last tour stop in San Jose, encouraging attendees to start living the life they visualize for themselves.

Sponsored by Olay and Toyota, the weekend was filled with soul-stirring and life-changing events.

One inspiring moment was when Oprah presented the Toyota Standing O-Vation award, including a $25,000 grant, to Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, a nonprofit that trains young African American girls in technology education with a hub in the Bay Area.

Presented on Nov. 15 by Oprah and Amy Purdy, Toyota ambassador and Paralympic Bronze Medalist snowboarder, the award recognized Bryant’s commitment to her community and her work in investing in the lives of young girls.

“This is my calling,” said Bryant, who appeared overwhelmed with emotion as she received the award from Oprah, one of her mentors.

Bryant was moved to create a safe environment for girls to learn digital technology after her daughter showed an interest in the field, which shows a lack of women of color. Through the multi-city program, Black Girls Code has reached 3,000 girls with tech workshops, which has helped build their self-confidence and has encouraged their development.

The two-day event was designed to leave attendees with life lessons and inspiration that they could then apply to their own lives.

Oprah shared her own personal story onstage, recounting a time she won Miss Fire Prevention as a young girl against two white competitors.

When asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, a young Oprah replied, “I want to be a broadcast journalist…because I want to tell people the truth,” inspired by broadcaster Barbara Walters.

Having grown up in Mississippi and having a close bond with her grandmother, she remembered her love for words and reading as a child.

Through her intimate stories, Oprah took you on the journey of her life from working at a local radio station in high school to hosting The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 years, landing a role in the movie, “The Color Purple,” and launching her own television network.

Working at the local radio station is when, she said, she learned to just be herself. “I can be a better Oprah than I can be a Barbara Walters,” she said.

“I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul,” she said, reciting her daily mantra.


Her words of wisdom vibrated throughout the arena urging people to: “Turn up the volume on your life, your passion, and your purpose and your vision.”

The weekend included motivational talks with Oprah’s “trailblazers” – Dr. Deepak Chopra, author and pioneer in mind-body medicine; Iyanla Vanzant, author and star of “Iyanla Fix My Life” on The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN); Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-seller “Eat, Pray, Love”; and Pastor Rob Bell, author and founding pastor of Mars Hill church in Michigan. Author Mark Nepo appeared in other cities on the Life You Want Weekend Tour.

For more information on The Life You Want Weekend tour, visit


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