Known as “the girl who buried her dreams in a tin can,” Dr. Tererai Trent was an 18-year-old wife and mother of three living in a Zimbabwean village when she began to dream of a better life. Today, Dr. Trent holds a professorial position at Drexel University School of Public Health and is an internationally recognized advocate for social change.
On Oct. 15, Dr. Trent will deliver the keynote address at Hopelink’s Reaching Out Luncheon at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue. The luncheon – now in its 23rd year – is the Redmond-based social services agency’s largest annual fundraising event. Last year’s luncheon raised more than $1.2 million to provide food, shelter, help with utilities, family development, transportation and job readiness skills for homeless and low-income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities in north and east King County.
Dr. Trent is a scholar, humanitarian, motivational speaker, educator, author of “The Awakened Woman” and founder of Tererai Trent International. She credits her mother with inspiring her to believe in herself, and to believe that she could do anything she set her mind to.
Married at the age of 11 and with only one year of schooling, Dr. Trent wrote four education goals on a scrap of paper, slipped the paper into a tin can and buried the can in the ground. Her mother suggested a fifth goal: giving back.
“Your dreams will have greater meaning when they are tied to the betterment of your community,” her mother said.
Oprah Winfrey describes Dr. Trent one of the most inspirational people she’s met in all her years of interviewing, and has said that Dr. Trent is her all-time favorite guest.
“Tererai has a personal story that will bring you to tears—and make you cheer,” Winfrey said.
Dr. Trent was a keynote speaker at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, and in 2018, won the NAACP Award for Outstanding Literary Work. She founded the Tererai Trent International Foundation to create opportunity through access to quality education, with a focus on girls and developing nations. Through strategic partnerships with Oprah Winfrey and Save the Children, Tererai’s mission to provide universal access to quality education while also empowering rural communities is now being realized.
The luncheon will take place Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, from noon to 1:15 p.m. at Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE 6th St. in Bellevue, WA. There is no charge to attend the luncheon, but during the program guests will be asked to make a donation in support of Hopelink’s services.
For more information and to register, see Hopelink.org/luncheon.