A Life of Daring and Courage Starts at EXPLO
level of comfort and self-acceptance, and consequently participate not as the public school kid, but like any other student. I knew I would not be happy at home if I continued to live in fear. Gustavo returned home to São Paulo where he organized a group of friends and negotiated with the school’s administration to form an LGBTQ student organization in response to mounting anti-LGBTQ sentiments within the community. His EXPLO experience served as the basis of his college application, and he was admitted (with a full scholarship) to the Dartmouth College Class of 2020 where he studies sociology and serves in the Office of Pluralism and Leadership.
F or Gustavo Silva, life could have been much smaller. Growing up in São Paolo, Brazil, he lived in a low income part of the city and attended a public school. When he was admitted on scholarship to the prestigious Colégio Bandeirantes, one of the most prominent educational institutions in São Paulo, he tried his best to blend in, rarely participating in class or the school community for fear of discrimination. From his college application essay: I stuck to the stereotype of a high school scholarship awardee: I performed well while mostly keeping to myself. Receiving a scholarship to EXPLO changed everything. I had never been on a plane before, talked to a foreign person, or considered the possibility of going abroad so young. I could never have allowed myself to dream of such an opportunity and I was determined to make the most of it. Would I let my timidity and fear of being judged prevent me from enjoying something I had worked so hard to achieve? Of course not! I sought opportunities to explore my interests in philosophy and sociology and discover new ones not only in political science but also gender and sexuality studies. I participated in debates, made new friends, and could finally present myself the way I wanted to because nobody carried preconceptions about who I was. Stepping beyond the bounds of my comfort zone enabled me to gain a new
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