Look, I'm from the projects in 🇧🇷. I supported my family since 15 & started college at 24.

My first ✈️ was to an internship in NY.

Now, I have a doc about my life, a Google Ad, & I'm the CTO of @faciobeneficios, a @ycombinator company.

Story 👇

At 18, I was in terrible debt, couldn't afford college.

I didn't even know of a single college graduate in my life.

Yet, my dream was to attend USP, University of São Paulo, the Ivy League of 🇧🇷 which requires high scores on a week-long exam.

The dream took six years.
I bought my first computer at 19. With no financial education, payment took 18 installments at a predatory rate.

In the projects, we shared a single phone line w/ the ENTIRE building. So I could only access the internet after 1am, after everyone in the building was asleep.

Indebted since 15, I finally worked my way out of debt at 22.

Now 23, I took the night shift from 10pm to 6am, so I could attend preparatory school from 7am to 1pm in order to get the high score required for acceptance at the University of São Paulo.

I studied on the bus to work & in the factory bathroom.

I wasn't the best in the preparatory school - I didn't have the time, resources or education. But I worked my ass off.

My dream major, CS, was a full-time program. Since I needed to work FT, I had to go with Finance.

USP's required week-long entrance exam is during weekdays. The factory didn't allow days off.

Tried donating blood just to get a doctor's note. Doc didn't like it and wouldn't write me a note.

I didn't show up at the factory all that week.

But I got the score I needed!

Finally got the courage to quit the factory job I'd had since 15 and used my savings to buy an apt & a taxi for my family.

Lived 2 years on a tight budget from savings: US$ 3.00/day - just enough for food & transport.

2 hour commute each way in a packed bus to get to USP.
I was able to transfer to CS since I was not working anymore.

I was the only Black student in the cohort. Everybody else was younger, with more money, and a better education.

So, I had to study my ass off. But I was really happy for the opportunity.

It was lonely - I didn't know anyone else in a similar situation.

In the projects, I was the "Ivy League kid".

In the university, I was the Black guy from the Hood.

I tried to bring these two groups together, but it didn't work.

There was a barrier. A discomfort.

Near the end of the program, a professor was selecting students for an internship at IBM NY.

I was chosen because of my hard work. I got to take my first ever flight, to the US.

I'd learned some English playing Zelda. I could barely order a burger when I first arrived.

At the University of São Paulo, I got access to opportunities that most Black people don't get.

Now, why did I need to work harder than others simply because I am Black?

Let's change this.

Let's close the opportunity gap and create an equal playing field for all.


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More from @marcio_santos

20 Nov
Truta, sou da COHAB, sustento a família desde 15, entrei na USP aos 24.

Meu 1° voo foi para estágio em NY.

Hj tenho vídeo sobre minha vida, ad do Google e sou co-founder da Facio, investida por #monashees, @onevc_
e @ycombinator.

História 👇


Meu pai perdeu emprego e eu, com 15, fazia Senai ganhando R$ 0.63/h.

A gente foi despejado e mudou para a COHAB.

Com 16, tinha nome sujo e estava negativo no cheque especial. Fui emancipado com 17 para poder fazer empréstimo.

Com 18, todo endividado, não consegui realizar meu sonho de fazer faculdade de computação.

Eu nem conhecia alguém próximo formado em faculdade.

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