Updated: Feb 22
Paper Wings, the first education scholarship that offers paid internships at startups that take place every summer for the duration of the course, it’s back! Created by Didimo and aiming to promote equal access to education, Paper Wings’ 2nd edition is funding all the years of University and paid summer internships to one special young student that was selected from an extensive list of candidates after a careful and rigorous process. We are very proud and excited to announce that Alexandre Justo is the winner of the second edition! But the surprises don’t just end here…
However, let us first introduce him.
Alexandre Justo, 18 years, from Porto, is studying Industrial Engineering and Management at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto.
Alexandre got to know Paper Wings through the news and when asked about why he applied for this scholarship his response couldn’t be clearer: “The real question here is why shouldn’t I”?
The first-year bachelor’s degree student will have his tuition fees completely funded starting next year and through his entire university path. Besides that, this Summer he will start a paid internship in a renowned startup.
"Paper Wings’ concept is extremely interesting and the experience itself is really rich. Not only do we have access to the scholarship and the internship, but we are also accompanied by amazing people who inspire us and provoke our curiosity, so we never stop trying”. By “amazing people” Alexandre is referring to Felipe Ávila da Costa, CEO of Infraspeak and Alexandre’s mentor, with whom he has regular lunches to talk about the student’s on-going experience at the faculty. For Alexandre, these opportunities don’t just appear out of nowhere, it’s important to look and reach them so that no one misses a chance at anything.
“It gives me a more entrepreneurial mindset. Paper Wings motivates me to strengthen my abilities and skills and give that step that, sometimes, is so challenging to give. I not only feel braver as I am truly excited to see what the future is holding”.
Alexandre believes this initiative will help open his mindset and prepare him for the real world, or, as some people call it, “the grown-ups world”, encouraging him to think of ways to change and, above all, improve the world.
Did this story excite you as much as it thrilled us?
If so, we have good news. Paper Wings’ third edition applications are now open. Until March 2nd, you can go to our website to submit your application. We believe in a virtuous circle of “learning, building, and sharing” and want to get in touch with students with an open mind, a curious nature, and an honest heart. What are you waiting for?
Lastly, Paper Wings offers special thanks to Felipe Ávila da Costa, from Infraspeak, for hosting the 2nd edition winner of Paper Wings. To Lydia Silva for working side by side with Veronica crafting the program and to João Orvalho and Celina Kurz e Silva for shaping the original idea. Manu and Noémia Orvalho for the art work. We are also grateful to Didimo Board members Dominic Gualtieri and Susan Standiford for advocating to sponsor the scholarships and the support we've received from Câmara do Porto, Bynd VC and Ideas Glaciares. We appreciate the support and ideas of The Square for spreading the love around Portugal to reach as many students as possible. To VdA for the care and dedication in crafting all the legal agreements so this initiative could happen. And last but not least to the dedication and love with which the Program Committee (more than 50 loving souls) and the jury, who did the final evaluation and chose the finalist and runner ups: Lydia Silva, Lurdes Gramaxo, Isabel Giao Andrade, Dominic Gualtieri, Joe Santos, António Marquez, Celina Kruz e Silva and João Guedes.
Thank you all for your involvement in the program and for always being available to help this generation and giving them the “superpower”.
We all have a superpower. Are you ready to share yours?