“Since I was nine years old I've been living in Japan outside of Tokyo. Although I could not speak Japanese at the time, I enrolled in a local public school. My parents weren’t fluent in Japanese either. Given this situation, I did not know the rules in school or even the basic Japanese customs. I was bullied because I was different. Some students even told to me to “go home”. I felt I did not belong anywhere until my junior high school days.
After graduating from junior high school, I was planning to work for a factory as other Brazilian friends did. However, my parents kept telling me I should continue studying at high school and then university and that the only thing parents can do for the future of their child is to provide education.
I entered high school and joined an “English Club”. My teacher advised me to participate in an English speech contest, which I did. I won a prize in my first trial. I began to feel confident in myself since then. Then my teachers encouraged me to go to university. They helped me study for entrance exam before and after classes as well as during summer vacation. I also decided to do all I could and studied as hard as possible by cutting my sleep and even time for bath. As the university I was hoping to enter had an international atmosphere, it felt very suitable to me.
I moved to Tokyo to enter university and for the first time, I felt I was treated as an equal by fellow students. In one of the university classes, I learned that many Japanese students surrounding me did not know the actual situation of foreign nationals living in Japan, and I felt obliged to learn more about my own circumstances as well. I then started studying the plights of migrants and refugees. I got an internship and then I continued my studies on migrants in a graduate school in Canada.
I am now engaged in a project to introduce Japan in Brazil on the occasion of Rio 2016 Olympic Games, to promote tourism to Japan and business opportunities between the two countries. This is an effort to make use of my experiences both in Brazil and Japan.
In the future, I wish to be involved in a business endeavor where I can contribute to promote local employment and increase local capacity by helping in the expansion of Japanese companies’ business overseas.”