Interview by L. Maksoud & S. Celulari
Just last week, St Paul's selected the new batch of foundation students that will be joining us next year, so, Sophia and I would like to welcome Ana Claudia, Elisa, Antonio and Gregorio into our school! Here is an interview we conducted with Mr Wilkinson, the head of the school's fundação. Hopefully this will enlighten you on what exactly the fundação is and how it works.
Just to give our audiences who aren't familiar with it yet- what exactly is the foundation?
"The foundation's aim is to provide full scholarships for talented students to study at St. Paul's School. We define talented in the broadest manner, be it in academic subjects, sports, music or the arts. We are a not-for-profit organization, but do not see ourselves as a charity, rather an intermediary for fair exchange. Whilst our scholars will receive all of the advantages that St Paul's has to offer, they will in turn enrich the school environment with their special talents and alternative perspectives on life. The foundation has a very staged selection process, that aims to find the best young talent to be a scholar. All the criteria and phases can be found here: https://www.fundacaostpauls.org.br/how-to-apply/."
What would you say were the foundation's highlights in this academic year?
"Aug 19: we had two scholars coming in to school (JP and Winter) and we were happy to see how well the school and community accepted them.
Aug 19: Also in the beginning of the academic year, we had 8 fantastic candidates starting the preparation course for the whole year (from Aug 2019 to June 2020). The prep course is one important step of the selection process, when the candidates attend English lessons at Cultura Inglesa + masterclasses at St. Paul's with school's teachers. It is a fantastic opportunity for them to boost their language skills and to find out more about the school and the curriculum. Teachers also get to know the candidates and to start thinking about which of them will fit in the school as a scholar.
Apr 20: We had a record number of applicants (164) to the scholarship programme 2021 entry. We also are proud to notice the quality of the new applicants. These applicants will be assessed, and the best ones will start a new prep course next academic year.
June 20: We were able to accept 4 new scholars from the 8 candidates (2020 entry). We are very happy to be one of the biggest families in the school (with 5 children)."
How do you think the foundation is changing these students' lives?
"Education is the least. It gives them a whole new way of thinking - expansion of horizons. Developing confidence in themselves that they can really do what they set their minds do We suggest that you watch our video about the characters involved in the foundation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7uxZEfyCyk."
How do you think the foundation is a good thing for the school community itself?
"Diversity is always good for cultures - think London and New York - great exciting places because they bring together so many different perspectives and experiences. Donors and Parents have referred to the ‘bubble’ - scholars help breakout with new ways of looking into life. Scholars inspire teachers, pupils, parents and staff to do more - raise the bar concept"
What do you foresee in the foundation's future? How are you planning to innovate? Any plans?
We expect to keep attracting talented students to the programme and to have more support from the school's community - be it in support, collaboration or funding.
What do you look for in students joining the program?
We have a set of criteria, but the most important thing (apart from the language potential) is the drive and commitment to benefit from all the opportunities that this scholarship programme brings.