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Tracy Makuvire

Tracy's graduation photo

When Tracy graduated from Stanford in June 2013, she shared this message with Pestalozzi and our supporters:

Today marks the day I graduate with University Distinction, and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a BA in Human Biology, 6 years after Pestalozzi gave me a wonderful opportunity to get an education. Thank you so much, my dreams will always be interlinked with you, and I hope my feet will always lead me back to you and the philosophy to educate "the head, heart, and hands" that has become a part of me. Thank you Pestalozzi!

Tracy visiting Australia
Photo: Tracy in Australia.

Tracy in Sydney
Photo: Tracy visiting Sydney.

Tracy at Victoria Falls
Photo: Tracy at Victoria Falls.

Tracy Makuvire came to Pestalozzi from Zimbabwe in 2007, dreaming of becoming a doctor. Since graduating from Stanford in 2013, she has been accepted to Harvard Medical School. This is her story.

Pestalozzi changed my life.

It changed my life in more ways than one and today I want to stop and say thank you to everyone who makes Pestalozzi possible!

When Pestalozzi came into my life, I was a form five student at Eveline High School in Zimbabwe. It was around April, and we had only just begun the school year. Due to many delays in grading the ZIMSEC exams of 2006, many students had started the Advanced Level classes late. For me personally, the delay included financial difficulties in paying for my high school. My mother, soon to retire from working in a factory, could not afford to pay for my brother and me. Thus, it was with high hopes that I attended the Pestalozzi selection process with many other students from around Zimbabwe.

Needless to say, my family and I were beyond joyous when we received the news that I had been accepted into the Pestalozzi scholarship programme. I had the most wonderful two years at Pestalozzi. I met many people, and gained life friends. I learned to grow academically, socially, and emotionally as a student and a global citizen.

I began to pursue my dreams of becoming a doctor.

Growing up in Zimbabwe, I had witnessed the poor health system and how it affected many families. I was determined to gain an education that would allow me to give back to my community through medicine. My time at Pestalozzi prepared me for the next step in my life – Stanford University. At Stanford, I pursued a major in Human Biology, with an interest in microbiology, women’s health, and global public health. It was here that I began to appreciate and understand how socio-economic status and education are major determinants of health. I became passionate about women’s health, globally and locally, and began to align my extracurricular activities with my passion.

While an undergraduate, I studied abroad in Australia and discovered my love for all things "nature", from hiking up mountains and through rainforests to exploring the Great Barrier Reef, muddy mangroves and various ecosystems in Australia. In my junior year, I received the Haas Africa Service Fellowship, which allowed me to spend time teaching high school students at Pestalozzi World in Zambia. I also spent time as a Resident Assistant in Crothers Memorial, a tutor for Science in Service, and a research assistant in an HIV/AIDS microbiology lab. After graduation, I became a Human Biology Course Associate, and worked with an amazing team to bring the Human Biology core to life for many students. During this time, I was also applying to medical schools, with the hopes to continue into academic and community medicine.

Today, it is with joy I share the news that I will be continuing with my medical studies at Harvard Medical School.

I am truly grateful for what Pestalozzi taught me, and for the passion that continues in my heart. I hope to practice medicine in under-served communities locally and globally, and to bring the skills that I learn in my education in America to improving the health needs of communities in Zimbabwe.

Thank you, Pestalozzi, for making all our dreams possible.


To support more young people in their quest to fulfill their dreams and ambitions, please consider donating to Pestalozzi.


(Updated: May 2014)