Oprah's Peace Corps Lite: O Really?

| Wed May 28, 2008 2:01 AM EDT

Hot on the heels of revamping the entire publishing industry, Oprah has apparently decided to reinvent the Peace Corps in her spare time. The new O Ambassadors are essentially younger, poorer, Oprah-backed versions of who I was in Africa after college, as far as I can tell. Good for Oprah, saving the world again and all that...right? Right?

Okay, I'll let her site explain the program's differences to you:

"I'm proud to unveil one of the best ideas we've ever had—it's called O Ambassadors," Oprah says...

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"[Our ambition is] to give young people a direct, hands-on way to transform the lives of children who are half a world away."

"We've set up groups in schools across North America. They apply and receive a curriculum about different issues facing the world—from environment to health to sustainability. Then, the students take actions from fundraisers to awareness raisers, and some of them even go overseas and volunteer," Craig [Kielburger] says. "We're launching a challenge to a generation of kids to change the world."

More on the non-Peace Corps from Free the Children (not to be confused with the similarly school-building Save the Children):

"With Monday's hour-long appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the O Ambassadors program—a joint project of Oprah's Angel Network and Free The Children to engage and empower more than a million students across North America—today's youth have once again shown that they are dedicated to a better world."

I'll leave it to the foreign policy wonks to throw wet blankets. Me, I'm still holding out for my invitation to the future country of O.