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Going beyond my wildest dreams

Egerton Neto, Master’s of Public Policy student and Rodolfo Villela Marino Scholarship recipient, shares his journey to LSE and his hopes for the future.

I am from Arcoverde, a small town in Brazil’s Sertão region – a place usually associated with poverty, inequality and droughts. In my childhood, I travelled all over the region with my father, a musician, where I could see and live the harsh reality most people only see on TV. This experience made me develop a sense of social and political duty to fight for change in my own community.

As a teenager, I wrote what seemed to be a highly ambitious list, considering my reality, of lifetime goals. The list included some very simple things, such as donating blood and gaining weight, and others that were more aspiring, such as having an undergraduate degree, and pursuing postgraduate studies. Fortunately, within nearly a decade, I’ve managed to accomplish most of the goals I set out to achieve.

However, not even in my wildest teenage dreams, I would have thought of completing a Master’s in Public Policy at LSE. I did envision a postgraduate degree in Political Science or Economics but, honestly, I simply did not have the cultural repertoire or vocabulary to think of attending such a prestigious institution. It is something that was not ‘dreamable’ for people from my background.

Egerton Neto wears a rainbow football strip

My LSE education would certainly not have been possible without receiving scholarship support. Coming to LSE has transformed my life. It has given me the tools, knowledge and vision to dream even bigger and aim for greater impact.

I am using my time here to develop my skills and network to become an international Human Rights advocate, focusing on Diversity and Inclusion in Brazil.

Looking into the future makes me realise how much progress I’ve made. But I would not be here today without the scholarship, nor without the support of my teachers, family, friends and mentors I had along the way.

As I approach the age of 30, it is probably time to write a new wish list. I want to achieve even more ambitious political, personal and professional goals. More importantly, I want to transform my knowledge, skills and network to have greater impact on marginalised communities. Recently, I have been mentoring young people from various places, including Ghana and the very same Sertão region where I grew up. I intend to pass on the support I have received and shape a better and more equitable future.

Egerton Neto (MSc School of Public Policy 2022)