A classroom can change the world

Get to know Jhudy Souza, a young Brazilian leader from LALA who is changing the world through education.

‘’Amid many written poems, I drafted who I want to be. And it is to the classroom I will come back without even leaving it. I won’t stop learning, even opening myself to the new, which is teaching. The word that serves as a haven I bring with me.’’

Jhudy Souza

Have you ever felt the love of someone for a cause palpable through a simple speech?

Those who participated in the Fórum de Reconstrução da Educação, in 2023, can say yes! As Jhudy’s passionate speech ended, the applause from an audience enchanted with her verses echoed through the hall. The poem, written especially for the event, reveals in short lines her gratitude and love for education for years.

Those feelings took root during Elementary school through the Brazilian federal program “Mais Educação,” which promotes full-time education through extra classes in arts, athleticism, and others to students from public schools.

Little by little, the obligation to go to school became a pleasure due to the welcoming environment and people she found there,  including her teachers. She found in them the support she didn’t know she needed to give her most high flyes as a young leader. Perhaps this is how Jhudy figured out the primordial combustive of any change.

Believing is the primordial combustive!

Certain things are possible because certain people have believed in me as well. I want to be the change for other young, inside and outside the classroom. […] Being a teacher was the form I found to get back to the classroom without getting out of the school.[…] I want to be someone who brings light, comfort, and embracement to my students.

The 19-year-old Jhudy until today doesn’t know how — nor when — education chose her to be one of its guardians. Perhaps it happened in her first art class or capoeira or even after the first incentive word from her teacher, Tânia. The fact is, for her, being a teacher is being an agent of change because education is the change!

Building her own horizons

I am not a huge fan of the idea that the young are the future of Brazil; I like the idea that we are the present more.

Carrying this idea in her heart, Jhudy exceeded the limits always imposed on black and poor women like her. She became a Youth Ambassador and realized her dream of leaving the country in the best way possible: representing Bahia and Brazil in the USA with 49 young who, like her, believe in the power of social impact and education.

Furthermore, as a volunteer at Globalizando, Jhudy has been fighting for years to democratize idiom education. She was a student counselor at the Fundação Lemann in 2022 and is currently changing Latin America by being a LaLeader!

Jhudy is a seed. ‘’[…]She doesn’t fear being the first and knows she won’t be the last’’. This is the final excerpt of the category pioneer in the award Mude o Mundo Como Uma Menina 2023, in which Jhudy is a finalist. She already changes the world as a girl, by being the potency she is. She is a mosaic whose parts are formed by experiences, people, projects, cries, and laughs, but, above all, she is the seed of a change still in construction: education.

She wants to change the world from a classroom, and those who know her, are sure that she will!

This interview was scheduled by Nicolle Cardoso, written by Elizabete Fernandes, and edited by Carlos Bomfim. They are part of LALA’s Media Production Voluntary Team.

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