I have been out of the office for the past two weeks and needless to say, my to do list is a bit daunting. One of the items on my list was to craft a new post, and in my research I came across an Op-Ed in the New York Times about Dr. Tererai Trent, a woman from Zimbabwe.
Dr. Trent dreamed of studying abroad and pursuing a PhD in the United States. She was not permitted to study as a child, with the exception of 2 terms. Instead, she quietly completed her brother’s homework as a way to learn on her own.
At the age of 11 she was married off and had 3 children by the age of 18. She was accepted to a University in Oklahoma and took her family abroad with her. Short on food, money and challenged with brutal beatings by her husband, she still managed to complete her studies. She went on to complete a PhD despite the barriers and difficulty.
Dr. Trent’s story reminded me why my to do list and Mondays should never be so daunting. She reminded me that I am here to assure my students that nothing is impossible. So despite a very long to do list for Monday morning, I will close my eyes and recall Dr. Trent’s story and know that as international educators, we do what we do for a very important reason. We are here to support the dreams of our beautiful students and to erase their fear and gently push them closer to living their dreams and reaching their human potential.
Who inspires you in your work? Who is your Dr Tererai Trent?
Below is a video of Dr Trent’s story that was shown on Oprah (TV show):