Tara Westover, the author of Educated, not only received no moral or financial support from her parents in pursuing her education but was actively discouraged and sabotaged by them, particularly her father, who believed that education was a Satanic tool of corruption. Tara was therefore unusually dependent on her brother Tyler and her mentors, particularly Dr. Kerry at Brigham Young University and Professor Steinberg at Cambridge.
Tyler Westover defied his overbearing father to go to university and persuaded his younger sister, Tara, that she had it in her to do the same. He encouraged her to apply to Brigham Young University and advised her on what she needed to do to gain admission. It is likely that, without his help and example, she would not have been able to attend college at all.
When Tara arrived at Brigham Young University, she was ashamed of her comparative ignorance. Dr. Kerry, her Jewish history professor, realized her potential and helped her to gain entry to an overseas study program at Cambridge University. Dr. Kerry instilled confidence in Tara, telling her that she deserved the success she had experienced so far and was in control of her own life.
At Cambridge, Tara was supervised by Professor Jonathan Steinberg. He not only gave her a great deal of advice on academic writing but helped her to secure a scholarship to ensure that she was financially able to study at Cambridge without her parents' support. Although her education at Cambridge suffered severe disruption from Tara's family, Professor Steinberg was determined that she should succeed, and his resolve reinforced hers.