Jonatas Barboza is a Business major. This interview was taken during his senior year at Nyack College.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My family is friends with an American family from New Jersey (the Mayers). The Mayers have been to Brazil multiple times on mission trips to Sao Paulo – Brazil, to do mission work at Hope Unlimited for Children, an organization that takes care of at-risk children. In 2014 their middle son who is my age, wanted to go to Brazil and spend time with these kids for about 6 months after high school. I had a dream to come to the US and learn English. So we exchanged. He went to Brazil, lived with my family and worked for Hope, and I came to the United States to learn the language and live with his family from August 2014 – December 2014. I was offered the opportunity to go to school in the US with the help of the Mayers. I went to a community college in New Jersey for 2 years, then I came to Nyack College in the spring of 2017 to finish my business administration degree.
Where are you from?
I was born in Brazil. My family still lives there. I plan to go back after I graduate from Nyack.
My Brazilian family has 4 members: me, my 20-year-old brother David, mom (Denise) and dad (Derli).
My American family (the Mayer’s) has 4 members as well: Shaun, Kyle, Ryan (sons) and Donna (mom). There used to be 5 of them, but unfortunately Steve, the father, died in a car accident in April of 2016. It was a shock; I was with the family when that happened.
Tell us a little bit about your culture:
Brazilians love to party, play soccer. We are very warm, we love to hug and make new friends; when greeting a woman, you give her a kiss on the cheek. But it is hard to generalize these cultural aspects because Brazil is very diverse. There are many people of Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, African, and German descent in Brazil. We have different customs depending on where you go in our huge territory.
Brazil has the largest population of Japanese outside of Japan (1.6 million = approximately 1% of Brazil’s population – 190 million).
What interested you about your major?
I chose business administration because I can do so many things with it and I enjoy learning about management, marketing, sales, etc. I plan to go back to Brazil, and either work for Hope Unlimited or for a multinational company that has its headquarters in the US, so I can travel back to the States often. That would be great!
What are some things you are passionate about?
I am passionate about contributing to provide fun activities and education to children who do not have access to them. I was born in Brazil and my parents have worked for over eighteen years at a non-profit organization that takes care of children at-risk, called Hope Unlimited for Children. Every summer when I go back to Brazil to spend time with my family, I either volunteer or work for this organization depending on their needs at the moment. Most of the time, I use my experience in the U.S. to work as a translator for members of American churches that go to this organization to do mission work. I help them strategize and plan their trip, help them organize fun games for the kids during camp week in July. I translate church sermons simultaneously from Portuguese to English, etc… That way I can have fun with the kids, and also have work experience.
I also love playing and watching soccer. I try to go watch soccer games at the stadium often when I am in Brazil. I love the environment and how people chant for their teams with passion.
How is your degree impacted by attending Christian College?
I enjoy having the Christian perspective of Business in every single class. I also value how there are so many people on campus who can help you when you are struggling emotionally for any reason. That helps me not only focus on the rational part of business in the future. But to always make sure every decision I make can impact people’s lives, positively or negatively, emotionally speaking.