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PhD Journey

Virginia Gomes

Hello I'm Virginia Gomes

Hello I'm Virginia Gomes

I am Brazilian, 52 years old and I have been living in the USA since 2001. I am a proud mother of a 20 year old boy who is now in college. I consider myself a positive, enthusiastic person who loves people and their histories. I am deeply concerned and puzzled about issues that have affected the Brazilian population, like poverty and political corruption, and I am on a mission to understand and try to minimize those issues.

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Reason Why

Reason Why

My whole life has taken me to this place and time to continue the understanding of the lives of people that I was raised so close to, yet so distant at the same time: the most vulnerable people of the state of Ceara in the Northeast of Brazil. Since I was born -  I believe even before that - Brazilians have been waiting for what is inscribed in our flag: "Order and Progress". Brazil has been the " country of the future" for as long as I can remember. And it is still. My goal is to understand the reason of this long halt of progress, especially in the Northeastern part of Brazil. 

One of the powerful things I learned in the USA which is not part of the culture on Brazil is youth voluntarism. I have seen how students here are motivated to learn and to change not only their lives but other people's lives. They suddenly become empowered and have a longterm goal ahead of them. I believe voluntarism can change Brazil's youth for the better. It can make students understand that they are in control of their lives, that they  are worthy. I want to see this happen! That's my why!

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Community Based Work
Research Ideas

Research Focus

I would like to analyze school and community engagement in small urban cities of less than 50 thousand habitants in the northeast of Brazil and go deep into youth empowerment.

Ceara is one of the poorest states in Brazil (ranking 23 out of 26 states by GDP). Even though we are known for our beautiful beaches, welcoming people, rich culture, great food and big religious festivals, Ceara still has the greatest economic and social inequalities in Brazil. My goal as a PhD student is to understand the struggles and strengths of small urban areas and be a catalyst for improvement.

My action research will focus on decolonizing education in Brazil with the goal of teaching for community sustainability and a more dignifying life through cooperation as a methodology and a way to end goal in education and economy.  See playlists for a broader understanding on Education transformation and climate justice

Goals After PhD

Goals after PhD

Following the conclusion of my action research and hopefully the opportunity to apply it, I aspire to teach young people about community self-reliance and youth empowerment at the university level and continue to do research in the neediest parts of Brazil and the world. I would like to engage in a program that mirrors my vision of managing international and multicultural education programs, conduct international education research and evaluation, teach at a university and provide consulting services to governments to help them improve education. I am ready to embark on this journey and I hope your university believes I am a good Phd candidate as much as I do, and also embraces the cause of improving education in remote areas of our globe.

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