Apr 14, 2014
Sale of Oprah Winfrey's New Chai Tea to Aid Some Connecticut Students
Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks with Judith B. Griffin, president of Pathways to College, and Oprah Winfrey.
A cup a day sends money the students’ way.
That is possible because Pathways to College at James Hillhouse High School is one of four programs that will benefit from every sale of Oprah Winfrey’s new product, Teavana Oprah Chai Tea. The tea will hit the shelves at Teavana and Starbucks locations April 29.
Winfrey partnered with Starbucks to create the special blend this year. For each sale, Starbucks and Teavana will make a donation to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. The foundation will divvy the money up between Pathways to College, Girls Inc., National CARES Mentoring Movement, and the U.S. Dream Academy.
Chelsea Hettrick, OWN director of communications, said specifics about how the money will be divided will not be provided.
Winfrey has donated to the Pathways program for years and supported the printing of the guidebook that students use in the program, said Pathways to College founder and President Judith Griffin. The nonprofit program has been adopted by 15 inner-city and rural high schools across five states, including Hillhouse where the program serves 75 students and works with four teachers. Griffin said she is looking to expand the program in New Haven and will meet with Superintendent Garth Harries in the coming weeks to explore options.
“We serve hundreds of high school students every year and what it is that we want to do is try and be sure that the students who are working with us, whatever their circumstances are, are able to access complete college and they are able to work hard at school change in the schools,” Griffin said.
The program starts with a group of students in their freshman year and works to keep them on the “pathway to college.” The second part of the program focuses on the students creating social change in their schools and encouraging their peers outside of the program also to stay on the pathway to college, Griffin said. She said the program doesn’t target students who are already on the pathway but instead looks for “potential rather than necessarily performance.”