Meet Wal

Wal is another of our ESL Cohort participants and emerging leaders in Recife Brazil.

Wal's story is pretty inspiring. Having grown up in an impoverished community in Paulista, Brazil, she is all too familiar with dangerous streets and an inadequate school system. One of the first things you will notice about Wal is that she is studious and intelligent.

Upon graduating high school, Wal was able to pass the college entrance exam with a score that offered her a full-ride at the top university in the state, the Federal University of Pernambuco. There she earned her bachelor's degree in Museology and an Executive MBA in Information Technology. This is an incredible accomplishment by any means. So many students from communities like hers do not make it into college due to being inadequately prepared through the public school system and being unable to afford tuition.

Wal's overcoming the odds and graduating from a coveted university is a testament of her vision, self-discipline and perseverance and also all those leaders who came along side of her to help her cultivate her calling and potential. Wal is a source of inspiration for all those in the communities the ambition of education and to rise higher than one's circumstances.

Today Wal works as an art teacher to children in an impoverished district in Paulista, Brazil. Coming from this community herself, her ambition is to continue to invest her heart and talents to contribute to the development and progress of her community.

When asked what leadership means to her, she answers:

"For me, leadership is not tied to the act of commanding; anyone can do that. Leadership is: the ability to inspire people to believe in the same purpose; to conduct an activity with love and to see that everyone is involved in this task and that they are doing it with the same love that you emanate.

Leadership is not power, it is authority. That's when you don't have to raise your voice to give an order. To lead is to have the responsibility to do what is necessary, at the right time, to be fair, to have an admirable character, to have emotional intelligence and to know how to use it, to motivate the people with whom you live and who mirror you.

Ah! To lead is to know that everyone is subject to error, but if one falls, the leader will be there to help you get up."

Wal holds two degrees from the Federal University of Pernambuco; a bachelor's in Museology and an MBA. In addition to studying English with DreamRoot, she practices Jiu Jitsu at the Arte Suave training center. Today she resides with her mother, sister and nephew in the community where she grew up and models leadership through strong character, being a life-long learner and serving those around her.

Wal, you are a role model to so many!




Amy Passos

Executive Director, DreamRoot Leadership Institute

Related Posts

Relief Efforts in the Sertão

By dreamroot | June 3, 2020

In partnership with local ministries, our leaders have been quick to mobilize resources and help to meet the critical needs of community members. We have seen lives literally saved and transformed.

Learning to Lead with Language

By dreamroot | June 3, 2020

In the face of social distancing, DreamRoot has rolled out a virtual ESL program that doubles as a leadership training cohort for 24 underprivileged young women in Northeast Brazil. The students interact with 10 bi-lingual Instructors who are teaching across 4 countries.

Recife Brazil

Leading During Times of Uncertainty

By dreamroot | April 1, 2020

Our most recent Brazil trip was cut short due to the Coronavirus. This resulted in postponing the April local leader training workshop. Despite the setbacks, we had a successful trip. Details will follow in a later email. DreamRoot’s leadership cohort and one-on-one coaching sessions with…

A Street Boy Named Adam

By dreamroot | February 25, 2020

The smell of polluted gutters hits our noses as we step out onto the streets.
The darkness of the night blankets us. As we approach the plaza, we are warmed by the soft street lights that circle the perimeter. With the sounds of screeching bus brakes in the background and catching an occasional glimpse of the rats…

training center

Tour the Arte Suave Training Center

By dreamroot | January 17, 2020

With past fundraising, we’ve been able to partner with Arte Sauve on the renovation of what was a dilapidated warehouse in northeast Brazil. It is now a functional training center serving over 120 students in an under-resourced community plagued by poverty, violence, and drug trafficking. This program also offers…

leadership workbook

Vision 2020 Workbook

By dreamroot | January 7, 2020

To help gain clarity, spark dreams and rise into the fullness of each of our unique callings, here is DreamRoot’s special Vision 2020 Workbook. It is an excellent tool for exploring your talents, discovering your calling, and aligning it with your daily life.

Meet Rose and David

By dreamroot | September 14, 2019

Rose and David are a powerhouse couple who lives in Fonfrede, Haiti. They believe in the capacity of the local Haitian people and have a shared vision for their nation of Haiti to be a restored and prosperous country where its citizens no longer live in abject poverty but have the means and skills to live a live of…

The Impact of a Uniform

By dreamroot | August 14, 2019

A huge shout out to Team Passos Jiu Jitsu students and Onda Jiu Jitsu for the generous donation of uniforms! These gis were donated to the Arte Suave program in Paulista, Brazil. Over 70 gis, several belts, and two pairs of shoes were collected and distributed to the students most in need at Arte Suave.

Meet Jhon

By dreamroot | July 30, 2019

When Jhon is not working his shift as a federal police officer in the Recife metropolitan areas, Jhon can be found leading at several project sites throughout the city teaching Jiu Jitsu to at-risk youth and adults. Each of his classes are filled with lessons of life skills, character development, and encouraging his students to…


Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.