The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can – Tererai Trent at TEDxSanDiego 2015

The obstacles in our lives often get stacked so high that we feel trapped within them. Stifled by fear of the unknown. Unsure of our own potential for greatness. We become blinded from seeing our hopes and our dreams as anything more than distant ideas, too far to ever reach. But we have the power to change that.

Tererai Trent’s powerful talk reminds us that our dreams are always achievable, as she takes us on her journey out of poverty. A world-renowned humanitarian and educator, Tererai has devoted her life to promoting education equality worldwide. Her message is one of hope, courage, and determination.

Growing up in a poor, rural village in Sub-Saharan Africa during her country’s war for liberation, Tererai hadn’t ever considered her dreams. Like her mother and grandmother before her, she was married and a mother of three before she turned 18. Denied an education, she taught herself to read and write with her brother’s schoolbooks. At 22, Tererai wrote down her greatest ambitions on a scrap of paper—a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, and Ph.D. She buried the dreams in a tin can, pledging to unearth that can when these dreams had been fulfilled.

With an unwavering belief in the importance of education, Tererai reminds us, “To educate is to empower. To empower is to liberate. And to liberate is to enable individuals to have dignity.” The captivating story of her 20-year journey back to her tin can reminds us to never stop believing in ourselves, our dreams, and our ability to achieve the impossible.

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