In 1991, a visitor changed Tererai's life forever. Jo Luck, from Heifer International, asked every woman about her greatest dream—something many of them didn't know they were allowed to have. "I remember very clearly saying: 'My name is Tererai, and I want to go to America to have an education, and I want to have a BS degree. I want to have a master's, and I want to have a PhD," she says. "And she just looked at me [and said], 'If you desire those things, it is achievable.'"
Hoping her daughter could break the cycle of poverty, Tererai's mother encouraged her to write her dreams on a piece of paper. The 20-year-old placed them in a scrap of tin and buried them under a rock in the pasture where she used to herd cattle. "As a woman without an education, life will continue to be a burden," she wrote. "I truly believe in these dreams, and I hope one day to work for the causes of women and girls in poverty."