Note from BW of Brazil: Stories such as today’s feature serve as more evidence that Brazil does itself a huge disservice by not creating more opportunities and routes to success for a large percentage of its population: the black and the poor. This story is actually from back in September but it’s never too late to share accomplishments and good news. Like the story of Emily Karle dos Santos Conceição, also from Bahia, this story shows once again that indoctrinating an entire population to believe in ideas of black inferiority are not only false, but detrimental to Brazil’s own development. After all, the success of any country depends upon the capabilities and achievements of its citizens. Congratulations, good luck and continued success to Geórgia Gabriela da Silva Sampaio!! It is more stories like yours that will help others who look like you to believe that they too can achieve when society wants to keep them in their “place”.
Feirense student’s project is pre-selected by Harvard University
The contest features 40 works, 16 from Brazil and only one from Bahia.
By Daniela Cardoso
Only 18 years old, a student from Feira de Santana (1), Bahia, is participating in a contest at Harvard University in the United States, along with students from around the world. The idea of student Geórgia Gabriela da Silva Sampaio is to create a kit for diagnosing endometriosis faster and at a lower cost. The contest features 40 works, 16 from Brazil of which only one is from Bahia.
The contest consists of phases. The semifinal was closed on Wednesday (September 10). A vote via the internet, established five works, which will join with 10 others, already chosen through evaluation, resulting in 15 finalists.
The official results should be released next Monday (September 15), but informed Geórgia informed Acorda Cidade that the vote is open and that her work was ranked among the five chosen by voting on the internet. The authors of the 15 selected projects will go through an interview via Skype and five will be chosen to attend a conference in the United States, which is held annually. There, Geórgia and the four other students – one from Brazil and others from Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Philippines – will attend a conference to present their projects to investors around the world and visit the university.
Flights, accommodation and subsistence will be covered by the event, entitled “Village to Raise a Child”. “It’s uncertain that investors will finance our projects, what we raise will be used to develop each of them,” she continued. The campaign will continue to actively receive donations on the Crowdrise platform until the end of the conference.
“I’ll be able to present my project, with my ideas, show how it was developed and ask for sponsorship to investors who will be there, to be able to bring sponsorship to Brazil and be able to improve the diagnosis of endometriosis in a simpler way,” she said.
The student claimed that participating in this contest is important to continue this research, which was stopped for lack of laboratories in Feira de Santana. She said she tried to continue in Salvador (Bahia’s capital city), but had no way to continue, as the researcher who was helping her, Dr. Eduardo Ramos, was only making himself available for extra time and could not accompany her to Salvador.
“I’ve already broken paradigms, because I am black, Northeastern and from a city on the interior (of Bahia). Yet I managed to be among the finalists of this contest outside of my country. To me, it’s a victory.”
Geórgia also emphasized the opportunity to improve her resume, through the contest, and also the chance to know one of the best universities in the world, in addition to the visibility that her research will have.
How the idea came about
The idea of research on endometriosis came about, according to the student when she realized the social context that the disease has. “Endometriosis is a disease that affects approximately six million women in Brazil and 170 million worldwide. Treatment of the disease is very expensive and so is the diagnosis. As the primary symptom is pain during menstruation, women go a long time without seeking treatment. The average delay is seven years and meanwhile endometriosis progresses into worst stages,” she said.
Geórgia says that when she realized this social context, she thought about the creation of a diagnosis that was cheap and feasible to include in public services and be able to give access to all women. “Many women are unable to pay for treatment and are excluded from these medical services, so I thought about this creation.”
The daughter of the merchant Jorge Luiz Santos Sampaio and hairdresser Sidney Sampaio da Silva, the student has always excelled in studies and, thus, was always invited to participate in student competitions.
Sidinei da Silva Sampaio, Geórgia’s mother, says her daughter has always been very determined and applied herself to her studies. She doesn’t hide the pride and joy of following the trajectory of her daughter’s studies. The young woman graduated from high school last year in a private school in town, where she was on a scholarship.
“I am happy because I see her effort. She always applied herself, ever since childhood. She has won various Olympics, won a scholarship to a good school, all through her own efforts. Her project will generate an improvement in women’s lives because a disease like this is not discovered through simple tests,” she said.
Geórgia also recognizes her dedication to studies. She has already passed three vestibulares (college entrance exams), two at the State University of Feira de Santana (UEFS) and one at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), but she didn’t enroll in any of them because she’s preparing for a university entrance exam outside of Brazil.
“I intend to do Mechatronics Engineering here in Brazil, but my plan is to go to a university outside of the country. As the curriculum is more open, I do can Mechatronics Engineering and continue my project of endometriosis at the same time. I’ve already had and passed three vestibulars, one for Computer Engineering, another for Civil Engineering and another to another to Electrical Engineering,” she said.
Not being able to contain his joy, Jorge Luiz remembers that his daughter passed three vestibulars.
“She didn’t attend because her dream is to study outside of Brazil. While in other places the parents fight for their children to go to school, here is the fight so she accepts attending a university here in the country. Education is the greatest wealth we can give our children, and this is her dream. So we’re going to do what’s possible to be achieved,” says the father.
Production of knowledge
Geórgia Gabriela also emphasizes the satisfaction of producing knowledge through research. “It’s very interesting to notice one’s self producing knowledge. The research gives me the opportunity to do so. When we study in college, we are only repeating what they have already done. The research gives the opportunity of creation.” Georgia said that while she is carrying out research on endometriosis, she doesn’t want to go into medicine. “I love independent research in and I don’t think about medicine,” she concluded.
1. Feira de Santana is a city in Bahia, Brazil. It is the second-most populous city in the state, with a population of 740,000 according to IBGE’s estimate. It is located 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Salvador, Bahia’s capital city. Source