Inspiration: Dr. Tererai Trent from Zimbabwe

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):


  1. Thandiwe M. says:

    Congrats to Dr. Trent for lifting the Zimbabwean flag high. At 11 you were a forced mother, but you never allowed the devil to win you. There are so many kids in Zimbabwe still going thru what you experienced and painfully in the name of the Church. I wish you could come and preach to this Church (Johane Masowe yekwa Marange). Small girls are given to old man already having more than 5 wives. Most of these die of AIDS and the time they are sick, they are not even allowed to go to hospitals as it is against the church doctrine. I feel proud to be a Zimbabwean woman. Zimbabwean women are very strong and loving. Be blessed Dr. Trent.

    • Missy Gluckmann says:

      It is a beautiful story and I hope all of your dreams come true too! 🙂

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