From Vila Vintém to NY: Learn more about the history of FGV Direito Rio student who will be attending a semester in the United States
Born in countryside Minas Gerais, raised in the low-income community of Vila Vintém, in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro. He is a student of FGV’s Rio de Janeiro Law School (Direito Rio) and is ready to attend a semester of studies at Columbia Law School, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States and in the world. The story, unlikely for a poor young man like Daniel Calarco, a student of the 7th term, will become a reality starting in August and is, so far, the culmination of an already successful life story.
“Statistically, I could not be living this dream. Raised in a low-income community, graduated from a Public School and being a FGV Rio Direito scholarship holder, it is surprising to be approved to attend an exchange program in New York, in one of the best universities in the world. I always dreamed high as an act of rebellion and going to Columbia, in my trajectory, is the result of overcoming the daily challenges and continuing to dream higher and higher and managing to get people and institutions to support me in these achievements,” he said.
During the semester in the U.S., the focus of Calarco’s studies will be human rights and business. The student already has a strong performance in these areas. Currently, he presides over the International Youth Observatory, an organization linked to the Center for Justice and Society (CJUS) of FGV Direito Rio, established to protect and promote the rights of young people, acting strategically to guarantee human rights, promotion of equality, and development through empowerment, public diplomacy, and international cooperation.
“Every young person alive in Brazil has a history of overcoming challenges. The social and economic challenges in our country are even more perverse against young people, especially those who are part of social minorities and who do not have financial privileges. My motivation has always been to question my reality and to think about how to build responses, and in Columbia, I can do that. There is a great appreciation there for innovation, leadership and boldness of thought, which is why this was the best option for me,” he stressed.
He emphasized that his story at FGV Direito Rio challenges him to think outside the box every day and to seek solutions to ensure that Law and its institutions can promote social advances. Simultaneously, he said, he understands the importance of not neglecting his origins, always putting in question the importance of including more people so that it is really possible to debate and to think about the different “Brazils” experienced in practice.
“I wish to return from the exchange program with more tools for the projects that I carry out at the International Youth Observatory and to strengthen the agenda of shared responsibility among the social sectors for sustainable development. Companies now are more important than ever in this agenda. In any space traditionally reserved for the elites, one must be willing to propose and strengthen institutional advances, taking their trajectory as a substrate. I try to offer young people who grew up without privileges the certainty that, yes, tomorrow can be better, through dedication, work, and opportunity,” he concluded.