April 28, 2023

Aspire Institute officially launched a Foundry in Brazil on April 3, 2023 in partnership with Insper. We appointed Mariana Isagawa as the in-country representative.

Executive Director, Meena Sonea, visited São Paulo in early April. She was able to meet with several Aspire alumni and community partners during her weeklong visit.

She visited Ismart, a community based nonprofit and Aspire global partner organization. Ismart identifies talent from low-income communities and supports their access to quality education and professional development resources.

At this special visit with their students and alumni, they discussed what leadership means to them and the opportunities Aspire Institute offers.

Aspire organized five other events in Brazil in April – two alumni gatherings and three events to inform Brazilian college students about the Aspire Leaders Program.

On April 4, seven alumni from the class of 2021 and 2022 gathered for the first time in person at Museu da Casa Brasileria with Sonea and Isagawa. The alumni shared about their backgrounds and Aspire Leaders Program journey.

“It was heartening to hear their enthusiasm for the program and how it influenced their lives in a positive way,” Sonea said.

Later in the month, Isagawa hosted another gathering with alums at Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro.

At both occasions, students shared ideas about developing the program in Brazil so more young adults reach their full potential and become leaders in their communities.

“I can say that starting the Aspire Leaders Program was a turning point, because I wasn’t aware of all my opportunities and what I could accomplish,” said Eduardo Vital, Aspire Leaders Program alumnus from 2021. “Today, I work creating systems and programming – my passions – thanks to the program.”

On April 13, Insper organized an information session that brought together prospective applicants. Several students joined in person and online to hear from an inspiring Aspire Leaders Program alumna from 2022, Tainara Soares. Soares’s personal journey provided insights into the application process and what others could explore through the program.

Isagawa also spoke at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) to students interested in international study opportunities.

Recently, Isagawa and Aspire Institute visited an inspiring lecture from Julio Lancellotti at UNIFAI about the relationship between religion and politics on the fight against hunger.

Stay tuned for more articles on engagements in Brazil and Latin America with the setup of this third Foundry, along with the others in India and Pakistan! Learn more about Aspire’s Brazil Country Director, Mariana Isagawa, here.


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