Dr. Tererai Trent
One of today’s most internationally recognized voices for quality education and women’s empowerment, Dr. Tererai Trent is a symbol of hope for children around the world. Her picture book, “The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can (October 2015),” is based on her story of perseverance. Tererai grew up in a cattle-herding family in rural Zimbabwe and always dreamed of getting an education, but limited by traditional Zimbabwean culture, she was married with three children by age 18.
Undeterred by traditional roles and cultural norms, Tererai determinedly taught herself to read and write from her brother’s schoolbooks. From those humble beginnings, she has become a world-renowned scholar, humanitarian, motivational speaker, educator, mentor, and inspiration, leading the global charge in the fight for quality education for all children.
So what makes Dr. Trent Oprah Winfrey’s “all-time favorite guest?” While still a young mother without a high school diploma, Tererai decided to take control of her destiny. She wrote down her dreams of going to America for higher education, sealed them in a tin can and buried them under a rock, thereby redesigning the blueprint for her life.
Tererai’s steadfast determination, hard work and belief in her dreams would eventually earn her multiple degrees. Today, Tererai is a senior consultant with more than 18 years of international experience in program and policy evaluation, and has worked on five continents for major humanitarian organizations.
With a desire to give back to her community and the firm belief that education is the pathway out of poverty, Tererai founded Tinogona Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to build, repair and renovate schools in rural Zimbabwe. Through strategic partnerships with Oprah Winfrey and Save the Children, Tinogona is helping build nine schools, improving the lives for nearly 4,000 children.
Using her prominent global platform in conjunction with world leaders and international audiences, Tererai tirelessly speaks on behalf of children without an access to education. On top of sharing her remarkable story, Trent appeals to international businesses to invest in equal access to education. She empowers women to be leaders in their communities, imparting the lessons she learned along her incredible journey. A warm and engaging speaker, Tererai lights up audiences with her enduring spirit and strength, and leaves everyone motivated to fight not only for their own dreams, but also for the dreams of others.