After 25 years, Oprah is ready to reveal her all-time favorite guest—Tererai Trent! "[She] symbolizes everything I believe The Oprah Show stands for. Her story encapsulates the essence of every lesson we've shared over the past 25 years: hope, your thoughts create your reality, gratitude...it doesn't matter where you come from. She proves you can keep reaching for your dreams, that one person can make a difference in the world—and above all, you have the power," Oprah says. "It doesn't matter where you come from. This story proves that you can keep reaching for your dreams, that one person can make a difference in the world. And, above all, you have the power."
As a young girl in rural Zimbabwe, Tererai lived without running water and electricity. Although she was desperate to learn, she only attended two terms of school before she was forced to marry at age 11. In 1991, Tererai met a woman from Heifer International and told her what her greatest dream was: to move to America and get her PhD. The woman looked at Tererai and said, "If you desire those things, it is achievable." Tererai's mother later encouraged her to write her dreams down, so Tererai wrote them on piece of paper, placed them in a tin box and buried them under a rock.
By 1998, her dream started to come true. Tererai moved to Oklahoma with her husband and five children. Just three years later, she earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education. In 2003—the same year her husband was deported for abuse—Tererai obtained her master's degree. After every achievement, Tererai returned home to Zimbabwe, unearthed her tin of dreams and checked off each goal she accomplished, one by one.
Today, Tererai is happily remarried and had made the fourth dream that she wrote down come true as well—she was awarded her PhD!