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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Back to School and onto a Bright Future

Carlos Henrique de Costa connected with Jovens Construtores Program (JCP) when he had taken a break from his studies. Despite obstacles, Carlos was eager to go back to school. 

Carlos Henrique, a 21-year-old young adult living in Complexo da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, first found Jovens Construtores Program (JCP) in 2019, when he had taken a break from his studies.

He participated in JCP’s first ever formal education program. In partnership with the Municipal Department of Education, the program’s methodology was applied to a public learning institution for young people and adults. At that time, one of the main concerns expressed by the teachers at CEJA Maré to the JCP that many students quit studying before high school. Carlos was determined to stay motivated.

Carlos shared, “The fact that I stayed away from school for a few years made me lose some opportunities that I sought very much and I deeply regret that.”

Through JCP, Carlos joined a network of young people who had similar goals. The team supported him to enroll in a high school. Now he is on the second year of high school and the program remains by his side so that he may graduate and pursue his dreams.

“In Jovens Construtores Program I had the opportunity that I always wanted to have – to have my voice listened to,” Carlos said. “I don’t participate in the activities of the program only as an apprentice, but also through my life experiences, and that motivates me more every day.”

During his years in the program, Carlos participated in other JCP initiatives. One of them was the development of the Co-laborAtivo (literally: Active Co-working) Platform, which set up, together with the JCP platform, a virtual space with learning content and tools for young people. The goal is to promote a healthy environment for learning and give young people agency over the project.

Carlos fully believes in his dreams, and he knows that it takes time and dedication to achieve them. Moreover, the access to opportunities is also important. Besides going to school, now Carlos works as a candy salesperson and he is considering taking professional training courses. He is studying psychotherapy and his main focus is to take care of his mental health and continue studying. The JCP remains by his side, since, as we always say: “Once in YouthBuild, always in YouthBuild.”

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