The low-income mining student is approved at Harvard, Yale and StanfordEnglish 

The low-income mining student is approved at Harvard, Yale and Stanford

A resident of Belo Horizonte, Sofia was elected this year in a process by a non-governmental organization (NGO)

Curiosity and effort. So 18-year-old student Sofia Santos de Oliveira explains the fact that she was accepted to Harvard, Yale and Stanford, three of the most traditional universities in the United States. A resident of Belo Horizonte, Sofia was selected this year in a process by a non-governmental organization (NGO). In a difficult decision, the young woman who overcame financial difficulties chose Harvard, where she will study Chemistry and Social Sciences. There you will have a full scholarship and a supplement for four years. The investment, estimated at R $ 2 million, will be funded by the university.

“I was always curious and I asked for it. It did not come by chance. I went after. I do not think I am smarter than anyone. If there is any difference, it is that I try hard. “I always liked to study,” said the young woman.

In her career as a student, Sofia went through ups and downs. It was the most difficult moments that pushed her to look for alternatives in her studies. “It was a trauma. “I have to change schools, cancel my English course,” she said, recalling a period of financial hardship her family faced.

At the time, his father lost his job at a steel plant in the capital Minas Gerais. With this, Sofia had to leave the Hamleto Magnavacca School of Social Services Industry (Sesi), where she attended primary school, and had to leave a private English course. “My life project has always been study. I had to look for it. Ask a lot. “I discovered this NGO on the Internet and the opportunity to apply for a scholarship,” said the student.

At the Social Institute for Motivation, Support and Recognition of Talents (Ismart), the young woman ended up receiving a high school scholarship – she attended Colégio Santo Antônio, one of the most prestigious schools in Belo Horizonte and two hours by bus from her house. .

“I loved San Antonio. I felt more connected to my colleagues. I made more friends. I did not feel so isolated as in the (Municipal School) Dulce Maria Homem, although I had the full support of the teachers to move forward. ”


It was also at this time that Sofia began to study languages ​​herself. “I took the books from the school library and studied alone. “I became self-taught,” she said. Today, the young woman speaks and writes English fluently and claims to have learned basic German.


For the past six years, Sofia’s routine has been waking up at 5am, picking up two school buses, lunch and returning to school, in groups or individually. At 20:00 he returned home. “Seek and discover opportunities. Following. Dedicate yourself. Have balance. “All of this is very important.”

In addition to being praised for her studies, Sofia said she loves pop music – she listens to Capital Inicial and OneRepublic. She is a reader of Paulo Freire and Fiodor Dostoievski. His bedside book, he said, is Classical Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by the Brazilian educator. “Like any young person”, the student also said that she goes to the gym, goes out with friends on weekends and uses social networks. “I do everything normally. To study, it is necessary to maintain balance. “


According to Sofia, Ismart has provided all the necessary structure for her to perform well at Harvard. In addition to the full scholarship, it will have didactic material, uniform and compensation for transportation and food. “Many students from different municipal schools here in Barreiro (the region where he lives) learned to look for opportunities. Many applied to Ismart, some received scholarships and are continuing their studies. “It’s very beautiful,” he said.

To participate in the Ismart scholarship process, students must be between 12 and 15 years old and have a per capita family income of no more than two minimum wages. Those approved have access to full scholarships to excellent private schools in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Rio, Cotia (SP), São José dos Campos (SP) and Sorocaba (PS).


One of the institute’s projects, called Alicerce, is aimed at young people up to the age of 13, who participate in the development program, accompanied by a team of psychologists, in addition to attending a two-year preparatory course. The goal is for them to have access to opportunities for excellence in high school.

The Bolsa Talento project, which targets students up to the age of 15, offers the opportunity to enter private schools to attend high school with a full scholarship. Those who pass receive school supplies, transportation and food, in addition to participating in a personal development program and professional guidance.

Contents of the Estadão


Related posts

Leave a Comment