Nicholas Kristof has inspired me many times. In today’s NY Times op-ed, he writes about Tay Thi Nguyen, a 20 year old Vietnamese woman determined to pursue and finish college, the first person in her village to do so. The eighth of nine children, she fought her parents who demanded that she drop out after primary school to earn money and burned her books twice to thwart her dreams. Starving herself to afford tuition and fainting three times while at college, Tay Thi Nguyen is about to become an English teacher and the best paid member of her extended family in a Vietnam farming village.
While so many journalists write about about the 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, Kristof finds and writes about Tay Thi and “Room to Read”, an aid group that sponsored Tay Thi and covered her school fees, uniform, books and a bicycle to get to school.
Nicholas Kristof gives us hope when we feel the trauma of abusive acts of oppression by telling us a story that highlights organizations that support the education of girls, exclaiming: “the best leverage we have to achieve social change is to educate girls”.
Tay Thi inspires and motivates us to pursue our dreams and to overcome whatever obstacles we may have. Her remarkable achievement inspires all of us to say, Yes We Can!