The Lemann Foundation has for many years been offering scholarships for Brazilian students to the world’s top universities so they could return home to help build a more advanced, more equitable Brazil. But when we looked at the people who were benefiting most from these opportunities, it was clear most of them didn't reflect Brazil’s diversity.
So many young, talented Brazilians from various racial, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds face multiple barriers to earning an advanced degree abroad. To make sure these Brazilians—the very future of our country—are no longer cut off from soaring to their highest heights, we created Ponte de Talentos. The "Talent Bridge Initiative" supports underrepresented Brazilians from low-income backgrounds to pursue graduate degrees in the US.
For a year, the program provides underrepresented students with mentors who offer support and coaching for all stages of the application process, an English prep course, stipends for test fees, transportation to the test, as well as coverage of registration fees, application fees, and translation of documents for university applications.
All of the participants who applied this year to programs at North American universities were accepted to multiple schools. Together, they received a total of 40 acceptance letters and will be attending universities including Columbia University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Southern California.
In total, seven future leaders received scholarships and will study at the universities of their choice with the support of the Lemann Foundation and the Fulbright Commission.
In the pipeline, we are supporting another ten Brazilian students who are preparing to make their applications in the coming year. And because the Ponte de Talentos pilot has been so successful, we’re planning to scale the program to help even more young leaders achieve their dreams in the years to come.
To find out more about the Ponte de Talentos program, click here.