Brazil Student Profiles

We are extremely proud of their great achievements and successes. Below are the profiles of some of our Brazilian students.

Julio Freitas
Rocky Mountain College '08

Julio Freitas Julio Freitas is from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He always wanted to pursue an academic education in America, but coming from a disadvantaged family, that dream seemed impossible for him. However, the winds blew a new direction when he got to know about USAP. He had been going to college for two years in Brazil, which enabled him to transfer to Rocky Mountain College as a junior in Business Major. Julio is sponsored partially by the College itself and also by MDUR Resources, Inc., giving him a full scholarship. During College, Julio works in the Dining Service. His other current job positions include work study in the Development Office, permanent writer for the College newspaper and due to his excellent academic performance, a gig as an accounting tutor.

For the future, Julio intends to work in the accounting department of an international company and in the long run, he intends to pursue a degree in communications so that he can work on TV, which is his dream field.

Deborah Rufino
Smith College '09

Deborah Rufino Deborah transferred to Smith College in 2006. She will graduate in January 2009 with a major in Government and a minor in International Relations. Before she begun as a USAP student, Deborah dos Santos was one of 20 Brazilian youth selected by the American Embassy in Brazil to participate of the Youth Ambassadors Program in 2005. Last summer she took an internship at the Fulbright Commission in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And this summer she will be back to her hometown to do research with a local NGO on issues of youth violence. Back to Smith for her senior year, Deborah is busy working as a House Community Adviser; helping out students that are learning Portuguese; planning a Brazilian traditional dance presentation for Smith's Rhythm Nations; and writing her honor thesis.

Glauber Mosqueira
University of Pennsylvania '10

Glauber Mosqueira Glauber Mosqueira is a 2010 Mechanical Engineering undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a member of UPenn's Formula SAE team, in which an open-wheel car is fully designed and built by students. His main project at the moment is an independent study in which he is making a finite element analysis of a limited-slip differential. He has also been one of the winners for JPMorgan's 2007/08 FantasyFutures competition, and is a member of the Partners of the Americas Pennsylvania/ Bahia committee in Philadelphia. His current work is a TA position for a Biochemistry course.

Glauber had previous cultural experiences in the US through the 2004 Youth Ambassadors Program, from the American Embassy in Brasília, and through the 2006 YSLI Camp from the National Science Foundation. He believes that only education and a subsequent technological advance are capable of providing a nation with the necessary support for development, and those are the values he will take to Brazil from his experiences in the US.

Alan Santinele Martino
St Lawrence University '11

<strong>Alan Santinele Martino</strong> Awarded with a full scholarship, Alan is a current freshman at St Lawrence University in upstate New York where he graduates in May of 2011. Alan comes from Praia Grande, a city in the coast of Sao Paulo State in Brazil.

This young man has been involved in two community services including visits to a local nursing home and mentoring a child from a Native American reservation. He has also been selected to participate in a project of the university in which he will lead deliberative dialogs on campus throughout the spring and the fall semesters. In the summer of 2008, Alan is going to join Fulbright Commission and the U.S. Embassy in Brazil for an internship that will introduce him counseling experiences and social aspects in Brazil.

His background and academic progress are certainly leading him to a sociology major with education as a minor. He believes that education is a powerful tool to assist people to become critical thinkers and have they included into society. He’s particularly interested about the inclusion of people with disabilities in regular schools as he has a brother with cerebral who is currently attending a regular public school in his hometown. Working as a professor or a diplomat are part of his career plans as his dream is to make a difference in his country by offering opportunity for other people to have their voices heard and respected.

Mayara Silva
Mount Holyoke College '11

Mayara Silva "Once you've set your goals, go for them! No matter what barriers you might find", says Mayara Silva, a rising junior, Economics and Mathematics special major at Mount Holyoke College. Restlessly committed to the academics, and with an ineffable will to make real changes in this world, Mayara has excelled her studies in Mount Holyoke, being awarded the Gina Jacobsen Prize in Mathematics, the Sylvia Shrek '39 Hubbell Memorial Award for Excellence in French, and the merit-based $2,400 Datatel Scholars Foundation Scholarship the 2008/09 academic year.  She has also been awarded the Laurel Fellowship, which will fund her study abroad program at the Institute of Political Studies of Paris, in the Spring of 2010.

Beyond academics, Mayara has reinforced her commitment to social change since she got to Mount Holyoke, first being an active member of the Intergroup Dialogue project on race and class, and more recently by joining CAUSE Creating Awareness for Unity and Social Equality, a student organization with which she went to Honduras in the Spring of 2009 to do volunteer work. Besides working at a farm and teaching chess to students at the community of Guaimaca, Mayara gave math classes to 7th and 8th graders and helped them with their struggles in the subject after class. 

Looking into the future, Mayara intends to earn a Ph.D. in Economics to advance research in development alternatives, but her life goals are beyond the academic world: "If research in development is one of my passions, no doubt I want to commit to it with more years of study; but the one thing I am certain about is that I want to run for public office at some point in my life, hopefully not too far from now. There's so much to be done back home that I refuse to just sit down and wait until things get better; I need and want to be an active player."

Bruno Carlesso Betat
University of Chicago '11

<strong>Bruno Carlesso Betat</strong> Born and raised in the city of Porto Alegre, in the south of Brazil, Bruno has seen a dream come true as he was admitted to the competitive and reputable University of Chicago last year, on a full-ride scholarship. He is currently a freshman, and intends to graduate in International Studies, with a possible minor in Latin American Studies, in 2011.

In 2006, he was chosen through a nation-wide selection process to be one of the 25 participants of the American Embassy-sponsored Youth Ambassadors Program. After that, the USAP proved to be a life-changing opportunity, "I regard the opportunity I was given as an outcome of the way I have led my life towards the direction of education". Bruno faces education and volunteer work as a way to have a positive impact on the reality of his country, which is his main future goal.

Back in Brazil, Bruno has never let his financial limitations stop him from pursuing his objectives and making a difference in his community. He used to work on a project that promotes the inclusion of children with multiple disabilities in the school environment. Also, as an active member of the NGO Partners of the Americas, he engaged in educational projects for his local community.

While still in his first year in college, Bruno has lots of plans for the future. His dream is to follow the path of International Relations, maybe towards diplomacy, as he views global understanding and multi-cultural interaction as a powerful tool to make a change in our world.

Rebecca Carvalho
Lawrence University OR Ithaca College '11

Rebecca Carvalho Rebecca Carvalho is a student from Recife – PE, Brazil. As a member of the 2007 cohort of the Youth Ambassadors Program, she had the chance to give speeches about her country in the United States; has attended meetings with regional and national American leaders; and has stayed for a week with a family from Charlotte, North Carolina. Rebecca has always embraced her principles concerning to the strengthening of the friendship links between two peoples as stated in her speech at the American Chamber of Commerce – SP, as the spokesperson of the group.

Led by her strong desire of becoming a war correspondent, Rebecca will continue her academic career in the U.S. in the fall. She was accepted into Lawrence University and Ithaca College to keep her studies on Journalism, which is more than her professional choice – but her choice of life. A member of Partners of the America, she sees the chance to transfer to one of these academic institutions as a great step toward her plans of being able to give voice, through her writing ability, to all the speechless people around the world, all the ones that become voiceless because of a sort of everyday tragedies.

Lilian Alves
Mount Holyoke College '11

Lilian Alves Determination is a key word for Lilian. Raised in Tefé, a small town in Amazonas, North of Brazil, she always wanted to pursue big things despite the obstacles in her life. As an OG, she had a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to fly even higher and was admitted as a transfer student to Mount Holyoke College where she intends to major in International Relations.

"This will be a chance to not only improve myself but also to contribute for my country's development."

In 2008, Lilian was one of the eighteen students selected to be part of the first Brazilian edition of the Study in United States Institute for Student Leaders program, created by the US Department of State. She spent five weeks at University of Tennessee, where she further developed her academic and leadership skills. She participated in 2006 edition of the Youth Ambassadors program from the American Embassy.

Lilian is very conscious about her role in society and believes in giving back to her community. She has been involved in several volunteer projects and is currently part of the Justiça Itinerante (Itinerant Justice) from the Federal Justice, which travels to country towns of Amazonas giving legal assistance to local people.

Agatha Oliveira
University of Pennsylvania '12

Agatha Oliveira, Agatha Lelles Cunha de OliveiraAgatha is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She always wanted to pursue her studies in the United States but she thought at first that she would not stand a chance coming from an underprivileged family in Rio. She has always dedicated herself to studying and was able to pass on to a very competitive Federal high school in Rio. Agatha's grades were so strong that she also received a scholarship from a magnet school to prepare her for the College Entrance Examination. Agatha would go to her regular school from 7am to 1pm and to the magnet school from 2pm to 8pm, including Saturdays. She managed to study English on her own and at school, even though the level of English taught at public schools in Brazil is basic. Nothing stopped Agatha from her thirst of knowledge. Her dreams started to become true when she was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania in September 2008 to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering.

At the University of Pennsylvania, Agatha was very involved in many student groups. During her career she was part of the Black Students League, Habitat for Humanity and the Race Dialogue Project. Today she is at her second term as the president of the Penn Brazil Club and she is also the vice-president of the University of Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Through her work at the Penn Brazil Club, she dedicates herself to raise students' awareness about the Brazilian culture, and the problems that strike the Brazilian community. Being part of the NSBE board, she dedicates herself to fulfill the mission of the organization: "To increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community." During her term as the vice-president of NSBE, she has organized a one day even in which companies, such as Microsoft and Boeing, presented workshops to college students from different universities in the area.

Agatha is graduating with a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering and a minor in computer science. After graduation she is working as a technology analyst for Goldman Sachs in New York. She also intends to pursue a Masters degree in Computer Science.

João Palacio Filho
Berea College '12

Joao Palacio FilhoJoão was born in Ceara, a northeastern state in Brazil. He was selected to be one of the 25 Brazilian Youth Ambassadors in 2006, a program that is carried out by the US Embassy in Brazil. He could represent his country abroad, and such an experience made him sure of the professional field he would like to follow. After graduating from Berea College with a Business Administration degree, João plans to work for an international company and deal with different interests. He especially hopes to be able to contribute toward Brazil's economic and social development through his knowledge in business strategies and policies, as well as his experience in different markets.

Besides his interest in the financial services industry, João has been very involved in the communities he's lived in. He believes in the power of community service and is interested in continuing his involvement in service projects. Joao has been a Bonner Scholar at Berea College and has participated in and served a leader for different service initiatives focused on issues such as immigration policies, youth education, domestic violence, hunger and poverty, and local business development.

Looking at his future plans, João intends to pursue his graduate studies in international relations and international business/commerce, where he will continue to study different markets in this globalized world, where he sees opportunities to bring together all his academic and professional interests.

Luiz Fernando Iubel
Berea College '12

Luiz Fernando IubelLuiz Fernando Iubel has always decided for an academic and professional path that allowed him to pursue a career in the sports industry. Along with his twin brother Nikolas Iubel, also a USAP member, this student from Curitiba, Parana decided to pursue his undergraduate career in an American university. In Berea College, his exceptional academic performance as well as the professional experience he acquired throughout the last years allowed him to fulfill his dream of working with professional sports and to be accepted into the Master's Program of Sports Management at the prestigious Columbia University.

In February of 2009, Luiz Fernando came to the United States for the first time to spend a month at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, TN, as a member of the Student Leaders Program, an exchange program sponsored by the US Department of State and US Embassy in Brazil. In August of the same year, He went back to the southern US to study at Berea College, in Berea, KY. Luiz was interested in pursuing a degree while being a student-athlete, which is not possible in Brazil's university system. In Berea, Luiz is graduating with honors, majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Business Administration and Communication. He is graduating as a member of the honor societies Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Epsilon Kappa; he has also been nominated for the Dean's List in every semester as a Berea student.

During his college years, Luiz Fernando started to experiment with possible careers in the sports industry. He played soccer for the varsity team at Berea College; as a soccer player, he was recently awarded with the NAIA All-American Scholar-Athlete. He also became an assistant soccer coach in the Kentucky Rush Team and in summer camps promoted by Berea College. His interest in a professional soccer career is so serious that he went as far as attaining the "E" and "D" National License from the US Soccer Federation and the coaching certification from the Association of Professional Soccer Coaches from Sao Paulo, in Brazil. In addition, he became a sports writer at the college newspaper, called The Pinnacle. Finally, Luiz did a marketing internship with a professional Brazilian soccer club, Coritiba FC. After the internship, he was offered a full-time position at Coritiba, where he is going to work for the next year.

In 2013, after getting work experience in the sports industry at Coritiba, Luiz will go to New York City to study Sports Management at the Columbia University Master's Program. With all of the theoretical and practical background mentioned above, Luiz hopes to be able to work for the development of the sports society in Brazil.

Luiz intends to work for the growth of Brazil's sports industry, especially because of two major upcoming sports events: the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympic games. Luiz believes that it is necessary that these events leave an important legacy.

Níkolas Francisco Iubel
Stanford University '12

Níkolas Francisco Iubel Commitment is a defining word when it comes to describe Níkolas's academic path. From Math Olympics to dance classes to research on electronic voting machine, Níkolas has been a dynamic student since the very beginning of his education. This talented young man comes from Curitiba, Paraná state, the largest city in Southern Brazil. After a demanding Entrance Examination, Níkolas was approved to study at the Curitiba’s Military School, a top school in the country. He was a highlight during all the seven years he studied there. When he was 12, he was chosen to take part in a nationwide TV program called "Grade A Student". Some years later, he represented his state in the Youth Ambassadors program sponsored by the US Embassy in Brazil.

Due to his outstanding performance at military school, Níkolas earned the right to appear on the school's chart of honor. In half a century the school has been in existence, he was just the fourth student who was given such an honor, the highest ever given to a student at the school. He saw his lifetime efforts rewarded when he was offered a full-ride scholarship at one of the best universities in the world, the prestigious Stanford University.

Before he was offered a scholarship at Stanford, Níkolas attended the two best colleges of Paraná State concurrently and was able to accomplish outstanding grades at both. At the same time, he volunteered his time and energy to social projects in his community. However, his dream was to pursue the best academic experience available worldwide. His willingness to push the limits of knowledge perfectly matched the entrepreneurial spirit of Stanford University, where he intends to double major in Engineering and Mathematics, with some possible minors.

After graduating, Níkolas is going to follow an academic career, working as both a professor and researcher, since he truly believes in the importance of education as a way to improve people's quality of life. His Stanford experience begins in the Fall of 2008.

Paulo Costa
Yale University '14

Paulo CostaPaulo Costa was born and raised in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since middle school, Paulo has been very interested in education. As the years went by, he became a popular mathematics, physics, and chemistry tutor at his high school, the Military School of Rio de Janeiro (CMRJ). With opportunities provided by his teachers, Paulo was able to excel in his studies and got more than 15 medals in academic competitions in Brazil. On top of that, he is also a recipient of a Motion of Praise and Applause from the House of Representatives of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Since 2010, Paulo has been studying at Yale University, in New Haven, CT. There, he has had many opportunities to expand his vision about education. Majoring in Economics, Paulo has been awarded 5 academic fellowships to further his understanding of economic issues across the globe. More recently, in the summer of 2012, Paulo was the leader of two projects on financial education in Brazil.

As a soon-to-be economist, Paulo does not know what the future holds, but he is pretty sure that he will be soon applying to graduate school to fulfill his dream of teaching at the university level.

Gustavo Arôxa
Vanderbilt University '16

Gustavo ArôxaResponsibility is what best defines Gustavo Arôxa's actions. Born and raised in Recife, in Northeastern Brazil, he wanted to be a diplomat since an early age. In order to fulfill this dream, he started his preparation while he was still a kid: he studied French, English and Spanish, and was admitted to the Military School of Recife. After an excellent performance in high school, Gustavo graduated from as valedictorian, in 2010.

Gustavo always had in mind that a diplomat must have a real international experience. For this reason, he decided to pursue his undergraduate education abroad. He is now a freshman at Vanderbilt University, and is the first USAP student to be accepted by this prestigious institution. At Vanderbilt, Gustavo plans to double major in Political Science (concentrating mainly in international and comparative politics) and Economics, with a minor in Latin American Studies. He is also involved in several clubs, such as Model United Nations, which is excellent practice for diplomacy.

Representing Brazil will not be the only thing Gustavo will be able to do as a diplomat. Breaking stereotypes, making international connections, nurturing global understanding, and effecting change in the world are his main career goals.

Allan Michel Jales Coutinho
Green Mountain College '16

Allan Michel Jales CoutinhoAllan Michel Jales Coutinho became a social activist back in 2008, giving computer lessons to children in a humble community in his city. Later on, he also started helping children with cancer at an NGO. Due to his leadership skills, he was selected in 2011 to become a Brazilian Youth Ambassador, through a national video contest sponsored by the U.S Embassy in Brazil. Allan traveled to the U.S in January 2011 so as to deepen his knowledge about the political and educational systems in the Unites States as well as represent his country. Because of his performance as an Ambassador, he was chosen in the same year by the U.S Embassy in Brazil, ILRIO (Institute of Leadership of Rio), and the Fulbright Commission, as one of the participants in the "Youth Ambassadors Summer Program." He spent his summer at Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School, studying English, History, and Creative Writing. This was the first experience he had in an academic environment setting abroad, which was an incredible eye-opening experience for him. Back in Brazil, he decided to apply to colleges in the United States as well as strengthen his community service projects, leading a group called "U.S Explorers," funded through a small grant contest sponsored from the U.S State Department.

Allan received financial and advising support from the Education USA center in order to achieve his goal of studying abroad. Because of his hard work and commitment as a dedicated full-blooded activist, he was selected in 2012 to be the Green Mountain College Make a Difference Scholar recipient, which covers room, board, tuition and fees for four years. He has been working with various groups in his college now, like the Model United Nations Club, in order to broaden his knowledge regarding social and political issues. Allan looks forward to making the most out of his experience in college so as to grow as a leader and become an important voice to representing minorities and improving education in Brazil.

Tabata Amaral de Pontes
Harvard University '16

Tabata Amaral de PontesUntil five years ago, Tabata Amaral de Pontes, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, didn't see studying in an American college as a possibility, as she had never heard about it before. However, after receiving a scholarship in a private school, she was told that this possibility existed and was achievable. At that moment, the dream started. She didn't speak English or was in conditions to pay for her application, but she told her father that she would study in USA. She participated in International Chemistry and Astronomy Olympiads and helped to develop a project to prepare students from public schools to Scientific Olympiads, and also received a scholarship in an English course, but the dream of studying in USA still seemed too far away for her. But then, as she likes to say, God sent her a lot of wonderful people who could help her realize her dream. This way she started participating in the Opportunity Grants program, receiving not only financial support or help, but also meeting friends who she will always carry with her. Tabata was accepted in 6 American universities, but ended up choosing Harvard to be the place where she will pursue her new dreams.

She wants to go back to Brazil and works with education politics, focusing in the public system. And this makes her interested in Government, Latin American Studies and Astrophysics, because she thinks that all these areas will be important in the achievement of her dream, which is bringing good changes to the Brazilian education.

João Henrique Vogel
Harvard University '16

João Henrique VogelBorn and raised in Rio de Janeiro, João Henrique Vogel studied during his high school years at Sistema Elite de Ensino, where he received a merit-based scholarship. During high school, he has done diverse extracurricular activities, such as theatre, winning awards as best actor in a leading role; community service, in which he created a project to help an orphanage with 40 children involving 500 students from his school; studying and working with IT in two different companies; scientific olympiads, with awards in Chemistry, Astrophysics and Mathematics; and studying English and Spanish. After graduating in high school, he came back to his school and created a project called "Elite Pelo Mundo" (Elite Around the World), which offers all the necessary support for high school students to apply to U.S. universities. The support includes advising regarding the application process and financial aid for those who cannot afford paying the application fees. He was also part of the creation and establishment team of Escola de Líderes, an internal MBA course on leadership, accredited by UNISUAM, a private university of Rio, to build future school principals.

On his senior year in high school, João Henrique was an Opportunity Student from EducationUSA, a USAPer and a mentee from ILRIO (Rio Leadership Institute). He acknowledges that without the support from these institutions, he would not have been admitted to American universities. With all this help, he was admitted to six universities in Brazil and two in the US. He is now attending Harvard College, with full-financial aid, and intends to get a degree in Economics and Computer Science. After graduating, João Henrique wants to go back to Brazil to work towards its development and hopefully improve its public educational system.

Renan Ferreirinha
Harvard University '17

Renan FerreirinhaA native of São Gonçalo, a city close to Rio de Janeiro, Renan studied for seven years at the Military School of Rio de Janeiro (CMRJ), one of the country's most demanding high schools. There he was a member of the Cavalry, doing horseback riding frequently; vice-president of the Student's Union; director of the Union of Catholic Students; Valedictorian; and Olympiad medalist, with 14 medals in Chemistry, Essay, Astronomy and Mathematics competitions, getting a Scholarship in a Junior Scientific Initiation Program. Due to his outstanding academic performance, Renan held the rank of Colonel Student – the top-ranked student in the senior year class - the highest position that a student can achieve. In 2010, he was introduced to SOMAR, an NGO created to improve education in poor areas and help the needy. After two years participating in SOMAR's community activities, he and his cousin founded SOMAR – English, in which they teach English to kids and adults in an underprivileged community in Rio de Janeiro every Saturday morning.

On the junior and senior years in high school, Renan participated in the ILRIO Prep Program and in the Opportunity Grants Program from EducationUSA, which financed all his expenses during the application process. With the marvelous help of both institutions, Renan was admitted early to Yale University, becoming the first Brazilian Opportunity Student to be admitted early, and was also accepted in other 7 American universities, including Harvard, Princeton and Columbia. Furthermore, he got the second place with full-financial aid in FGV (Getúlio Vargas Foundation), the best institution of higher education in Brazil according to MEC (Brazilian Ministry of Education). At college, Renan intends to study Economics and Political Science. After graduating, he wants to come back to Brazil to work with public education and to fulfill his dream: create his own foundation with the intention of providing the future generations with similar - if not better - opportunities than those that have been given to him.

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