Daniel Trust - From Refugee to Nonprofit Advocate for YouthMy Big Story
A man advocates for youth in need, and inspires others through his story of surviving the Rwandan genocide and overcoming years of hardship
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CONNECT WITH DANIEL
- Daniel Trust (website) | Facebook | Instagram
- Daniel Trust Foundation (website) | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram
With a quick decision, Daniel Trust left Bridgeport, CT to meet me meet in-person in the San Francisco Bay Area. I found a place for us in downtown Oakland to meet and made the hour-long drive to meet him there. I was excited to meet Daniel, but truthfully, I wasn’t sure what to expect when meeting him in person.
Daniel is a young man that started a nonprofit to help youth with education — specifically youth that are either refugees to the United States, impacted by low income, or are part of the LGBTQ community. That’s not his entire story.
Daniel is also a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, losing his father, two sisters, and witnessing his mother’s death, leaving him orphaned at age 5. And he had many difficult years following that trauma.
So I was meeting a man that has suffered a horrific childhood, but found a way to forgive and thrive in America. I couldn’t really imagine how this was even possible. But then I met Daniel.
He’s warm, full of compassion, and ready to tackle anything.
In our interview, we talk about his experiences in Rwanda, coming to the U.S. as a teenager, how support from his teachers made all of the difference, and his current world with the Daniel Trust Foundation, and how and why he needs to give back.
I left that interview with a new understanding of hope, perseverance, and very happily and most importantly, with a new friend.
[2:12] Daniel and Christopher talk about how their meet up happened.
[3:22] Daniel was forced to leave his home — lost his mom, dad, and two sisters — but held onto hope and faith.
[6:08] How did Daniel survive the Rwanda genocide?
[7:44] Daniel has always had an angel that has stepped in and helped him throughout his life.
[9:20] As Daniel reflects on his life experiences — both the good and bad, he tries to focus on the positive as much as he can, and use it to help others.
[11:00] Daniel envisioned himself in America and worked hard to adapt to the reality of his new life.
[14:39] Learning to be grateful changed Daniel’s perspective.
[15:46] Practicing forgiveness and letting go of the past allowed Daniel to become the happy, smiling person he is today.
[17:43] Daniel needs to give back after receiving help in his youth — starting his foundation to help refugee, low-income, and LGBTQ youth receive an education.
[21:42] Daniel talks about his personal reason for advocating for LGBTQ youth.
[24:24] Schools and various organizations invite Daniel to talk to their students or employees about his experiences, and how to translate that into faith and hope in difficult circumstances.
[25:55] Get involved with Daniel’s organization and find him online.
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[27:49] If you’d like to share thoughts about the show or how it sparked an idea, you can call me and leave a message at 1-707-347-9312. You may even be featured on the show. Here’s how to connect and find out more.
Mentioned in This Episode
@mechristopher on Instagram
@mechristopher on Twitter
@accidentalinformation on Instagram
@accidental Information on Facebook
@accidentalinfo on Twitter
@TrustDaniel on Instagram
@DanielTrustFDN on YouTube
How to Donate: Danieltrustfoundation.org/take-action
@danieltrustfoundation on Instagram
Bridgeport Public Education Fund
“My experiences of being helped have shaped who I am now.” — Daniel Trust
“When you can tell someone that they can do it — that you believe in them — they can actually do it.” — Daniel Trust
“Carrying baggage from the past…was not going to take me anywhere.” — Daniel Trust
“What are you going to do now to make this world a better place?” — Daniel Trust
“Give young people opportunities that will help them build skills and talent.” — Daniel Trust
TRUST Short Film