Former collector of recyclables from Pará Joel Silva was the last participant of “Who wants to be a millionaire”, part of the program Caldeirão do Huck, broadcast last Saturday (28). He earned R$150,000 and saw his following increase rapidly after participating.
Joel, who finished second in the medical course, in the form of vacancies for public school students at the Federal University of Pará, will use the money to fund college and help his mother.
“I was surprised and scared. I didn’t expect so much. I received messages in groups, on social networks. I’m not much of an Instagram user, but I had to move these days because of the program.”
Reserved, the student keeps only 12 posts and saw his profile go from just over 200 followers to almost 2,500, just during his participation in the program.
“For me it was a distant thing really, I didn’t think I would participate. I went through the stages and I only believed when the production announced that the ticket was released”.
From collector to medical student
During the program, Luciano Huck said at all times that he was impressed by Joel’s tranquility when answering questions. The same tranquility was what helped him pass the Enem test this year and enter medical school.
“I have this posture of calm, but very down to earth and very grateful for everything that has been happening. It’s a whirlwind of experiences throughout the year. I’m expecting to progress even more with the course, an apprehension to start soon, but now is getting close,” celebrates the student, who will enter the university in October.
But before getting here, Joel lived a unique story. His parents are recyclable collectors in a cooperative in the Terra-Firme neighborhood, in the capital Belém. And it was there that he cultivated the habit of reading, among books discarded in the garbage. “In addition to recyclable materials, there were always books. There was always good material.”
In the year of Enem, he also had to dodge the difficulties of the pandemic to study. The in-person classes in the prep course were suspended in March 2020 and Joel had to study alone for the exams.
“As the classes started to be online and I didn’t have internet, I was studying alone and looking for the content that was in the program “.
Who wants to be a millionaire
When he passed in medicine, the student had another concern, that of paying for his studies in the six years of college, since, according to his calculations, he needed R$ 46,000 for that. And it was with this objective that he joined the board and ended up earning much more than he expected.
The former recyclable collector says he will use the money with caution. Since receiving the award, he preferred to keep it to plan expenses, but he already knows what he is going to do.
With what is left of what he has reserved for college, he intends to help his mother, who lives with her grandmother in the municipality of Bujaru, northeast of Pará. my grandmother’s house”.
The student believes that his life story is very peculiar and specific as he comes from a peripheral neighborhood and has worked with garbage. “It’s incredible that when I stopped (working with garbage) it was when I least had contact with books. In another situation I wouldn’t have access to this material,” he says.
I believe that we have to maintain our willpower because, despite the difficulty, it will eventually work out. Things are moving towards the right choice for certain people”.
Joel says he will always fondly remember the program that helped him through this stage of his dream. “I will always remember as a booster, who ensured my permanence in the course. I will have a special affection for the painting, production, which gave me the possibility to build my future with more security and capacity”.