Hi, my name is Thaisa Brandao and I have been a g4g Ambassador for 2 years now. All this story started in Brazil when I was in my last year of college. In 2015, I was always involved in different things: lab tutoring, Math tutoring, Junior entrepreneur, college’s handball team, projects, monography, volunteer… and that’s how the g4g came to my life.
I heard for the first time about g4g when I was at a meeting of the “Coletivo Mulheres em Movimento” (Women in Movement) - a feminist club from my college where the students talk and discuss about women’s right, including girls in STEM. They are the ones who told me about “Inclusao das Mulheres nas Ciencias e Tecnologia – IMCT” (Inclusion of the Women in STEM). It is a University Extension Program Project led by the teacher Kelly Torres, who is an inspiration for me and became a real friend of mine, at the Federal University of Sao Joao del Rei, Campus Alto Paraopeba, in Ouro Branco, Minas Gerais, Brazil. This is the University where I graduated in Bioprocess Engineering and my home city.
The IMCT Extension Project is connected to g4g and seeks to encourage, supports and informs girls from public and private schools to pursue a career in Mathematics, Science, Technology and Engineering, especially where they are minorities. Its goal is engaging the students in a fun and dynamic experience with workshops, lectures and experiments around STEM. In January of 2016 I became a volunteer in the IMCT Extension Project, where I planned events and did some volunteering work with the IMCT at the schools in my city.
A bit later on, I started an exchange program in the USA. After 6 months in the U.S I decided to see if I could come back to what I loved the most while I was in college. I looked at the g4g website and that’s when I found something about being a g4g ambassador! I applied for it, waited…and a year later, when the Ambassador program got a second breathe, I was officially a g4g ambassador! That day my exchange program started to make sense for me. Since, I started to volunteer at some g4g events around the U.S.
Quickly, I realized I was able to lead a proper g4g workshop on my own (the DNA necklace one!). To get ready for it, I had even followed a Molecular Biology Course online to improve my vocabulary to be more able to connect to the girls in English.
g4g has changed my life in so many ways that a few months ago, I started to get ready to visit the g4g team in Brussels, Belgium. It has been an amazing experience so far: Since September, I have been working and travelling around the world with g4g, attending lots of events and running lots of STEM workshops as an ambassador and Intern ; I went to two events in Belgium, one in Poland, one in Sweden, and am ready to go to Ireland, England and France in the upcoming weeks!
Encouraging girls to pursue STEM is a way for me to pursue my dreams and learn more and more. This experience has proven me that I am resilient and really love working with kids and science (both at the same time if possible!), in so many places… That’s why I love g4g! And of course… Anything is possible!