In March of 2019 I had the privilege of spending time with a hero of mine, Dr. Terarai Trent. Named by Oprah as her all-time favorite guest, this amazing woman escaped a life of poverty and abuse in Zimbabwe. She went on to earn multiple degrees and has since used her firm belief that education is the pathway out of poverty to help thousands of young people in her country access education.
During our visit Dr. Trent asked why I had started the Educarte program in Rocky Point. I am incredibly passionate about this work and when I talk about the kids we support, I tend to become emotional. After hearing my response Dr. Trent asked me: “What broke your heart?”
When I told her I didn’t understand the question, she explained that, in her experience, when a person is so passionate about something it means their heart has been broken. She shared that, like many others who are strongly committed to something, her early years of living in violence and poverty broke her heart and inspired the work she is now doing. She asked me again what broke my heart and led me to this work in Mexico.
I told her that, since I was born into a loving family and have never suffered through severe hardship, my work in Mexico must not be inspired by heartbreak. She responded, “for the past seven years you have devoted your life to improving the lives of children in a country that is not your own. You just cried while sharing with me the stories of some of young people your program supports. Clearly your heart has been broken.”
Dr. Trent explained that she believes that to develop such great passion for something, your heart does not have to break for yourself. Your heart can break for others.
In that moment I realized that I did start this program because my heart had been broken.
It began to break when, during 25+ years vacationing in Rocky Point, I saw so many young people living with little hope for a better future.
It broke further in 2012 when I began volunteering every week at a children’s shelter in Rocky Point and met young people who had already faced incredible hardship.
It continued to break in 2015 as I prepared to launch a program to give more kids here access to education. I spent weeks listening to hard working parents share how badly they wanted their children to be able to get an education so they could have a better life. Many broke down as they told me how a lack of resources had left them having to choose between meeting their children’s basic needs and sending them to school.
Today, 6 ½ years after launching this program, Educarte is supporting more than 900 students. Our homework clubs are providing younger students throughout this community with the daily resources and support they need to go to school and thrive. We have helped dozens of our students go on to college and a few now have their college degrees.
My heart is full thinking about so many amazing, resilient young people having access to educational opportunities they need to transform their futures. Yet, my heart continues to break knowing that there are so many more waiting for our support.
The good news is that your heart doesn’t have to break to help us give young people in Rocky Point hope for a better life through education. You can simply make a one-time gift or recurring donation to support Educarte at: www.AmigosEducarte.com
The Director of Educarte program in Rocky Point and I with Dr. Trent
Hugs like this from one of our young students help to heal my heartbreak!