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Tererai Trent

Tererai Trent

Advocate for Education and Women and Girls’ Rights


North America

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Despite being born in a small African village and following the custom that saw her married while still legally a child, Dr. Tererai Trent had one ambition – to gain an education. Coming from a traditional community, women’s roles were clearly defined. Her schooling was of the most basic, but her dream of an education saw her use her brothers’ schoolbooks to further her learning.

The changing point in the life of Tererai Trent was when she met the CEO of Heifer International, Jo Luck. Jo inspired Tererai, telling her that “If you believe in your dreams, they are achievable.” This saw Tererai, a young mother by then, write down her dreams and seal them in a tin can which she then buried under a rock. She had, in effect, designed the blueprint of her life.

Tererai Trent never lost sight of her ambitions, and despite many challenges, finally managed to gain her high school diploma, and from there, multiple degrees. Age, to her, was not a factor when it came to education.

A two-time guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show saw Oprah name Tererai Trent her “All-Time Favourite Guest” and receive a large donation that allowed her to rebuild her childhood elementary school. Her firm belief that education was the key out of the shackles of poverty, as well as her desire to give back to her community, saw Tererai Trent found Tererai Trent International. The foundation’s main aim is to empower rural communities in Africa, giving children access to quality education regardless of gender or socioeconomic background. Her strategic partnerships with Oprah Winfrey and Save the Children have allowed her to achieve a large part of her dreams, with over 5,000 children in Zimbabwe being impacted by this initiative thus far.

Dr. Tererai Trent is currently an adjunct professor in Monitoring and Evaluation of Global Health at Drexel University, School of Public Health and is a senior consultant boasting over 18 years of international experience in program and policy evaluation. She has worked for major humanitarian organisations on five continents and is a fellow at the Center of AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at UC San Francisco. Tererai Trent conducted research on the prevention of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, with her focus on women and girls.

An author of multiple books, Dr. Tererai Trent won the 2018 NAACP Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Instructional) for her latest book, The Awakened Woman – Remembering & Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams.

Tererai Trent – Speaker

As a speaker, Tererai Trent has appeared before audiences across the globe, sharing her story and the lessons she has learned. One such engagement saw her the keynote speaker at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, where she had the opportunity of using her growing voice to appeal to international businesses to invest in equal access quality education.

According to Dr. Tererai Trent, “Tinogona!” This translates to “It is achievable!”

Speaking Topics

Aimed squarely at women who desire to build a supportive network for themselves and each other, set astonishing goals, achieve them, and amplify their voice and impact in the world – in meaningful ways.

Inspirational keynote, practical advice on setting and achieving INCREDIBLE dreams & how Dr. Trent did it, from teen mother & wife in rural Zimbabwe to sharing the stage with Oprah as her favorite guest of all time and gaining her support to fund several schools in Zimbabwe)  Can be tailored to a children’s audience, too, and supplemented by her children’s book:  The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can  Emphasis on the catalyzing power of education and literacy – and how that equals freedom for those who obtain those gifts.

Aligning corporate strategy with a higher calling – one related to identifying and hyper-focusing on WHY your company exists, what core problem or challenge it solves for your customers – and connecting that to your company’s ‘Greatest Hunger.’  The end result?  Your company will be doing its biggest and best work in the world.

  • “Dr. Trent’s passionate message about the power of education resonated with the graduate students during a critical time in their studies. Her moving story of hope and determination inspired our students to think differently, ask questions, and explore how they can effect positive social change within their professions, communities, and, quite possibly, the world. Dr. Trent is an eloquent speaker whose extraordinary story inspires audiences to believe they have the power to make a difference.”

    Walden University

  • Tererai Trent “Dr. Trent’s passionate message about the power of education resonated with the graduate students during a critical time in their studies. Her moving story of hope and determination inspired our students to think differently, ask questions, and explore how they can effect positive social change within their professions, communities, and, quite possibly, the world. Dr. Trent is an eloquent speaker whose extraordinary story inspires audiences to believe they have the power to make a difference.”
    5 / 5
  • “Her incredible and fierce talent for motivating audiences—young and older—is even more impressive because it is matched by a genuine and warm spirit. Dr. Trent spoke at our Girls’ World Forum and there was not a dry eye in the place—she is the real deal! Thank you for being a class act and for being a true testament to the power of great talent, hard work, and unrelenting perseverance.”

    Girl Scouts of the USA

  • Tererai Trent “Her incredible and fierce talent for motivating audiences—young and older—is even more impressive because it is matched by a genuine and warm spirit. Dr. Trent spoke at our Girls’ World Forum and there was not a dry eye in the place—she is the real deal! Thank you for being a class act and for being a true testament to the power of great talent, hard work, and unrelenting perseverance.”
    5 / 5
  • “Dr. Trent’s speech – and her very presence – at the Texas Nonprofit Summit was moving, passionate, and overall inspiring. The nonprofit professionals that attend our conference could not stop talking about her and her story – she was the clear highlight of the whole event!”

    Ann Starr, Director of Education at Greenlights for Nonprofit Success

  • Tererai Trent “Dr. Trent’s speech – and her very presence – at the Texas Nonprofit Summit was moving, passionate, and overall inspiring. The nonprofit professionals that attend our conference could not stop talking about her and her story – she was the clear highlight of the whole event!”
    5 / 5
  • “Tererai Trent was absolutely amazing last night! She had our audience hanging on her every word, you literally could have heard a pin drop. She received two standing ovations and at least another four spontaneous outbursts of applause. Women laughed, cried, and thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of hearing her words. Many attendees came up afterwards to say she was “the best they’ve ever heard” – no small praise considering the caliber of speakers that have been featured over the past fifteen years.”

    Women’s Connection, Co-Executive Director

  • Tererai Trent “Tererai Trent was absolutely amazing last night! She had our audience hanging on her every word, you literally could have heard a pin drop. She received two standing ovations and at least another four spontaneous outbursts of applause. Women laughed, cried, and thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of hearing her words. Many attendees came up afterwards to say she was “the best they’ve ever heard” – no small praise considering the caliber of speakers that have been featured over the past fifteen years.”
    5 / 5
  • “Dr. Tererai Trent is more than a woman of power. She is a symbol of hope to every woman who ever thought herself unworthy, who ever felt herself unseen and unheard. I think she is the perfect example of what a human being can achieve when she decides to lift her life to its highest calling.”

    Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine

  • Tererai Trent “Dr. Tererai Trent is more than a woman of power. She is a symbol of hope to every woman who ever thought herself unworthy, who ever felt herself unseen and unheard. I think she is the perfect example of what a human being can achieve when she decides to lift her life to its highest calling.”
    5 / 5

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