Zeca and Cindy Santana along with Dean and Sue Helm recently returned from 10 days in Brazil where they met with potential new students and families and established strong connections with many Adventist schools in the capital city of São Paolo. As a result of the trip, Campion is expecting 6-12 new students from Brazil to enroll in the upcoming school year, with most arriving in January.
During their trip, they visited over seven different schools where they introduced middle and high school students to Campion Academy. At the assemblies, Zeca Santana was able to talk about the experience of coming to Campion in his native tongue, Portuguese, while Dean Helm provided entertainment with his Helmdini magic shows.
Paulo Pedroso Nascimento, an international student agent with his own company, You Bet Schools, arranged for the school visits and helped connect the Helms and Santanas with students with serious intentions of studying abroad. Paulo has been the primary agent Campion has worked with since 2018 and has sent over 25 Brazilian students to Campion over the years.
In the evenings, around 20 families attended meetings at Paulo’s office to talk about specific details and arrangements. Current and former Campion students from Brazil also attended the meetings to share about their experiences.
Zeca Santana was instrumental in organizing Campion’s first recruiting trip to Brazil in 2018, and the first seven Brazilian students arrived in January of 2019. Since that time, Zeca has served as guardian for all of the Brazilians and always kept in close contact with their families while supporting the students. Many of the potential students that attended the recruiting meetings were brought directly from the families of current and former students at Campion due to their positive experiences.
A highlight of the trip for the Santanas was having the opportunity to reunite with former students and families. The Brazilian students often refer to Zeca as Vovô, grandpa in Portuguese, as he and Cindy have become like family to them. Zeca shared that parents strongly expressed their appreciation for the staff and committed to spreading the word that Campion Academy is a great place to send their teens to not only learn English, but to be guided in their spiritual lives.
Most of the students that come to Campion from Brazil are Seventh-day Adventists and their primary motivation to come is to learn English and potentially study at American universities. Fluency in English opens the doors to many job and career opportunities for young adults in Brazil, significantly affecting their future.
Dean Helm commented, “It was a great trip overall and we were very well received. It was a positive relationship-building trip with our agent as well as our current parents, and future students and families.”
In the final days of the trip, they were able to tour Rio de Janeiro and enjoy some of the world-renowned views.