Giacomo shares more about the project he developed at BLB 2018, Ramifica, and how the bootcamp experience has impacted his way of thinking.
Ramifica, BLB Project
At BLB 2018, I developed an education project, Ramifica, with 4 other participants. Our goal is to develop and apply a training course for teachers from public schools in small cities to integrate educational opportunities into their classes. We believe that teachers can attract more attention to their students by designing activities such as scientific olympiads and competitions, making it easier for the teacher to convey the lesson and improving student learning.
We decided to focus the project on teacher empowerment because they will stay in school for decades at times, while student representatives taking the project to schools would most likely disconnect from the branch after they graduate.
The project connected with my story because I, while in a small town school, did not have access to many opportunities outside of school. Having participated in various programs / "olympics" / activities after moving to a larger school, I saw how much it would have helped me if I had had access earlier.
BLB was an opportunity for me to meet and connect with incredible people from all over Brazil (and also from the USA!). The facilitators were all very attentive and entertaining, and I remember several conversations I had with them during the program. They treated us more like peers than students. In addition, the other participants were fantastic and we created a sense of community and incredible connection. I liked everyone, without exception, despite all our differences, and I found this fantastic. All the speakers and guests we met were interested in listening to us and helping us, not only with our projects. I met Rafael from Vetor Brasil, and he was interested in following my academic experience at UChicago, for example.
What I liked the most were the activities of self-knowledge. Honestly, I've never felt such great peace. After the moments of meditation, I had incredible conversations with friends and with facilitators until dawn, which demonstrates how involved we all were.
BLB has reinforced the idea that I want to work in education. The learned thinking skills showed me how it is possible to put my projects into practice not only after college, as I had previously believed. I believe that I will now take more advantage of UChicago's opportunities to continue developing in this direction. In addition, BLB helped me realize the importance of taking care of myself, not only physically but mentally. Marcelo helped me start meditation, and I intend to use UChicago's resources to continue this.