Philadelphia Inquirer Tells Inspiring Story of Bryn Mawr Student Undaunted by Tragedy of Her Early Life

Posted October 2nd, 2012 at 3:15 pm.

The Oct. 2 Philadelphia Inquirer article "Zimbabwe teen leaves anguish behind, starts future at Bryn Mawr" tells the story of Gertrude Makurumidze '16, who in the span of just a few months at the age of eight lost her mother, a newborn sister, and her father, all, she eventually learned, from AIDS.

Makurumidze, who hopes one day to become an AIDS researcher, is attending Bryn Mawr through the U.S. Student Achievers Program.

From the article:
In just four weeks, she has charmed everyone -- from her roommate to the college president.

"I heard a little bit of her story, but I was really unprepared for how vibrant, open, and smiling she was," said Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe. "She's going to do wonderful. She's pretty extraordinary."

Makurumidze's roommate offered to bring her to California over fall break to see a beach for the first time; her mentor, a Bryn Mawr alum and AIDS psychiatrist, invited her to New York at Thanksgiving; and her host family wants her to spend Christmas break with them.

"It's hectic. It's busy . . . but I love it," she said of grappling with the complexities of Calculus II, working in the college's cafe, and learning to swim. She laughed again.

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