Daniel Trust - From Refugee to Nonprofit Advocate for Youth

My 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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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.




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