51sNt ational Convention Cov era g e JOURNAL Spring 2014 s39 Today, much of her energy is devoted to serving America’s un-derserved youth and speaking all around the country to raise aware-ness about disparities in opportu-nity for youth. Taylor is CEO of Na-tional CARES Mentoring Movement, an organization she founded in 2006 as Essence Cares. The program’s goals are to em-power one million able adults to reach at-risk children, to raise grad-uation rates, stem violence in the African-American community, and end the over-incarceration of young people. Taylor sees a natural synergy between Delta Sigma Theta Soror-ity, Inc. and National CARES, and told her new sorors that she stands ready to serve. “The village is on fire,” she said. “And they’re waiting for us.” Dr. Tererai Trent “DesTINed for Greatness” by Nicole Avery Nichols She was married off at the tender age of 11 and had three children by 18, but as di-vine order would have it, Tererai Trent has ascended unfortunate cir-cumstances and broken a cycle of poverty and oppression. While growing up in rural Zimba-bwe, like most young girls her age, Trent was denied a formal educa-tion. Her place was to get married; the boys were the breadwinners, she was told. So Trent secretly learned by doing her brother’s homework. She wrote her own dreams down on a piece of paper, placed it in a tin, and buried it in the ground. When the opportunity came to move to the United States, with as-sistance from Heifer International, the then 20-year-old moved to Okla-homa with her abusive husband and their five children. Within three years she’d persevered to earn her bachelor’s degree, two years later a master’s degree, and ultimately a Ph.D. She observed a ritual. After she earned each degree, she returned to Zimbabwe, unearthed her tin and placed a check mark next to the new-ly accomplished goal. Today, she is remarried, a mo-tivational speaker (one of Oprah Winfrey’s favorites), and she has re-turned home to help young girls in Africa reclaim their dreams. Winfrey has awarded Trent $1.5 million to build her own school in her village in Zimbabwe and needless to say, Trent has unearthed that long buried tin. Standing poised and powerful at Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Opening Ceremony, where she had just been initiated into the sisterhood, the new honorary member greeted her sisters and said she could look out at the sea of women and see her female ances-tors standing at four points in the room. Trent said she could hear her ancestors lovingly affirm the work of the Sorority, and her place within a body of women that is determined to never bury hopes, dreams or oppor-tunity. s The National President, Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, national chaplain, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKen-zie and honorary members welcome the six new initiates at the 51st National Convention.
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