The Dream Learn Work class of 2018 received their diplomas in a ceremony on January 17, 2019.
50 students completed different courses in 2018, and more than 30 of them were present for the ceremony held in the offices of law firm and NBCC associate Kincaid in downtown Rio de Janeiro.
«Today, you are the guests of honor and we are here to celebrate your accomplishments. You have worked very hard to get here, and we are very proud of you», Mr. Halvard Idland, Chairman of the Dream Learn Work board, said in his address to the students. He also talked about the importance of aiming high and working hard.
«You are champions that have reached your goal, and now you can set new goals for your lives», Mr. Idland said.
Ana Paula Gomes dos Santos is one of the students that received her diploma. She was recruited from the Abrigo Rainha Silvia in Itaboraí. When she got pregnant at a young age, she had to drop out of school, but thanks to DLW she was able to finish both elementary school and a technical education in cooking.
«DLW helped me identify my dream, and today I am a professional cook with a specialization in pasta and sauces. Today I work and even have my own company that makes brigadeiro (Brazilian sweets) for events. I have met so many inspiring people, and it has been a fantastic journey. Now I want to continue to study gastronomy in a university. I am the first of my entire family with a university degree», Ana Paula said.
Many of the students shared emotional stories and thanked DLW for providing them with tools that have enabled them to follow their dreams.
«I didn´t have any dreams, and would never have dreamed of going to university. My grandmother can´t even read and my mother only has four years of schooling», says Joana Dark, from the Maré community. Today she is a licensed massage therapist, aiming for a university degree in physiotherapy.
Norway´s Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Mrs. Sissel Hodne Steen was also present for the graduation.
«I would like to congratulate the students, but also the partners of the project. DLW is important to the students, but also to the companies involved», she said.
NBCC is an institutional partner of Dream Learn Work (DLW), and according to Executive Director Jeanette de Souza Lorvik, the partnership has contributed to opening new doors for DLW.
«It has been a really positive experience. We participate at events and have met a lot of people», Jeanette de Souza Lorvik says.
NBCC associates Brunel and Prumo Logísticia are among the more recent corporate partners of DLW, providing students with mentoring programs and HR training. The DLW executive is also in dialogue with other NBCC associates who are considering ways team up with DLW.
Education is key
Kincaid is an institutional partner of Dream Learn Work since the beginning and the graduation taking place in the Kincaid offices was an initiative by Camila Mendes Viana Cardoso.
«Kincaid was actually part of the creation of Dream Learn Work in 2006, and we have been providing legal assistance all these years. I am very fond of the project, and believe education is everything. it is through education that we can help people improve their lives. The project is a dream that has come true, and it is our dream coming true to see you grow. You are proof that DLW is a success. it is an honor to host this ceremony for you here today», says Camila Mendes Viana Cardoso.
Dream Learn Work currently has 112 active students, and 51 percent of them are also employed. DLW has a 96 percent conclusion rate, and in 2018, the 112 students completed 113 different courses. Since the founding of the organization in 2006, about 850 young Brazilians have taken different courses and training programs with the help of DLW.
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By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist