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Young Ambassadors: Commitment to social causes leads students to experience in America

Young Ambassadors: Commitment to social causes leads students to experience in America



April 5, 2023 – 12:30 p.m


Bruno Motta – Text
Private archives – Photographs


The Young Ambassadors program annually takes public school students from all over Brazil for a three-week experience in the United States. Created in 2002 by the US Department of State and coordinated by the country’s embassy, ​​this initiative has given many young people from the government network Ceará the opportunity to get to know North American culture closely from a social development perspective. . Amedu Becerra de Morais Neto from the General Edgard Faco Military Police College in Fortaleza and Sara Ucha da Silva from the Paulo VI State School of Professional Education (EEEP) in the capital represented Ceará in the 2023 edition. After being classified into selected stages, the program took place from January 10 to 30.

To compete for a vacancy, knowledge of English speaking, excellent school performance and leadership profile is essential, in addition to participation in social entrepreneurship projects or the idea of ​​creating a collective impact.

Amedu Neto finished high school in 2022 at Colegio da BM, where he attended for the past 12 years. While at the institution, she participated in the project “Reading Friends – I Am a Citizen” which seeks to promote debate in the school environment on issues such as race, gender, gender and social inequality. According to Amedu, the main point of the initiative is to use resources such as reading, art and other entertainment tools with the aim of developing critical thinking, improving the importance of students and opening up new perspectives in life to the participants.

Before and after

“The experience of being a young ambassador was very challenging. Surely, this is one of those moments that I will look back on in the future and realize how much my reality has changed. Apart from what I learned in workshops and visits to community projects, the most remarkable thing for me was the friends from other places around the country, my Host family (the host family who hosted him during his stay), who helped run the show here and in the US”, he highlights.

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Amedu says he heard about the project in 2017 when he saw an article about it. However, he did not even consider claiming the vacancy because he did not believe he had a chance of being elected. It was only when he was already in his last year of high school that he decided to give it a try. “I promised myself that if I had another chance, I would apply and that whatever the outcome would be worth it. So, last August they opened registration for the 2023 edition and I got it,” he recalled.

“We must occupy our spaces and do everything possible to change our reality and those around us. I hope other students from schools in the state will join this project and show our worth to the world”, Amedu stressed.

Practice

About the opportunity to converse in English with native speakers of the language, the student expresses surprise at his own performance. “I didn’t think I could, but I had good, long talks with myself Host family and with others during the journey. What makes me so happy is that all these people are so open to helping me and understanding me. “We need to lose the fear of speaking up, because fear often holds us back,” he opines.

Now an alumnus of the Colégio da PM, Amedu joined forces with his former schoolmate Vitoria Albuquerque, who participated in the 2022 edition of the Young Ambassadors, to create a new social project. According to the students, “Reading Friends – I’m a Citizen” was called “Youth Communication – Goju” and sought to encourage the creation of literary clubs, rhetoric clubs, writing and writing labs. Public schools.

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“We want to hold workshops and classes that bring students the opportunity to work on communication and self-knowledge,” she explains.

Identity

Sara Ucha heard about the young ambassadors on their first day of high school during the 2020 welcome event hosted by EEEP Paulo VI. In this event, Ayesha Baz, a student from the institute, who has already participated in the event. She was invited to speak about her experiences on the trip. “I fell in love with the program when I heard such an impactful statement. From then on, I started to get involved in social projects, which I would soon discover as another great passion: helping people and adding knowledge”, Sarah describes.

In 2021 and 2022, the student worked on the “Arbo Project”, which aims to plant fruitful seedlings in communities and public spaces in Brazil, and to map existing trees, fight food insecurity and provide people with healthy food and quality. In addition, the activity aims to spread environmental education. “Arbo has a application With the same name, where can you find these plants? There is a Instagram profile About the project”, he enumerates.

Sarah’s first attempt at participating in Youth Ambassadors took place in early 2022. However, according to the student, the registration process could not be completed due to unforeseen events that arose. “I thought about giving up the show, but with the support of my mother and Professor Simone, who always saw the best potential in me as a young ambassador, I went ahead and participated in the incredible 2023 edition,” he insists.

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Sarah says she came back from the trip with a desire to inspire other young people to get involved socially so they have similar opportunities. “Initially the experience was challenging, especially in the first few days, but I was able to quickly adapt to a routine full of learning, knowledge exchange and busy schedules. Meeting 49 ambassadors from all over Brazil was incredible. I returned to Brazil and as I broadened my horizons to new opportunities, every place in Brazil “I came back with a piece on my chest. The thrill and adventure of being an ambassador is known only to those who have experienced it,” he highlights.

New ideas

From being involved in social causes, Sara began to develop her own project during the trip. The initiative, which is currently being adapted, aims to promote environmental education in schools and society in general, focusing on the importance of recycling and the impacts of waste production.

“I already had a different perspective on social causes and always wanted to be a mobilizing agent for change in my community. Participating in Youth Ambassadors motivated me to continue to follow that dream and be the change I want to see in the world. I hope my project will work in the community soon”, says the young woman. .

For those thinking about participating in the program, Sarah advises staying on target. “Find goals to achieve it and make it real. Because what you want is achieved brick by brick, and we can do something every day to make our dreams come true,” concludes the student.