Lucas Tejedor, 18, is the only Brazilian in the list of 50 finalists for the Global Student Prize 2022, a ranking released on July 21 by the Varkey Foundation and which elects the “best students in the world”.
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A resident of Bangu, in the West Zone of Rio, and a student in the 4th year of technical high school at Cefet-RJ, he spends 5 hours on public transport to get to and from school (between buses, trains and on foot), he likes to (does 5 km in 21 minutes and 30 seconds), plans to attend law school and wants to work with public policy analysis to assess, for example, “how to solve hunger in a certain region”.
In this report, Lucas tells the g1 about your routine, interests and preferences (enjoys popcorn and neuroscience). It also explains how he managed to reach the final of the contest, which will announce until the end of 2022 the name of the champion or champion, who will be awarded a prize of US$ 100 thousand (about R$ 520 thousand).
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Lucas Tejedor likes to study programming — Photo: Personal Archive
“Global Student Pride chooses the 50 best students in the world. You have to write a text about everything you’ve ever done: notes, research, projects and everything else. They analyzed and chose the top 50. There were more than 7 thousand candidates this year. In September, the top 10 is chosen and, by the end of the year, the first place”, said Lucas.
Lucas often reads about neurology and philosophy.
“I like many things, I’m very disciplined. I read sociology, neurology, mathematics, philosophy, biology of the human body. But the area I want to pursue is law. People think I’m going to pursue technology, but I want to study the philosophy of impact. In other words, I will choose what will impact people the most”, said the student.
“I intend to enter politics in a different way. I want to analyze public policies. I will try to work with that. It can be in the world, in the country or in my neighborhood. I want to analyze, for example, how to solve hunger in a certain region. Ask the right questions, seek the best answers and do the best to solve the problem.”
Popcorn, running and neurology podcast
Lucas Tejedor with his girlfriend at the movies eating popcorn — Photo: Personal Archive
Lucas says he has a healthy diet and doesn’t eat gluten.
“I dare say my favorite food is gluten-free popcorn, watermelon and pasta. I don’t eat anything that is bad for my health, no chocolate, cookies, bread, gluten in general. I started to improve my diet at age 12, when I stopped drinking soda. It’s a lengthy process, but it’s worth it,” she said.
In her spare time, she enjoys fixing household items, jogging, and listening to a neurology podcast. Accompanied by his girlfriend, Jandira Ferreira, he watches series.
“One thing I like to do in my spare time is fix things. If there’s a broken drawer, I’ll fix it. If there’s a broken piece of furniture, I’ll fix it. I like to watch series too, I’m watching ‘The Blacklist’. I also run, I like to play sports. I run 5 km in 21 minutes and 30 seconds”, he said.
“I also like Andrew Huberman’s podcast on neurology. He talks about various mechanisms in the brain and how you can use that to your advantage. He’s a professor at Stanford University. It’s very interesting.”
Lucas Tejedor in the Cefet forest — Photo: Personal Archive
Lucas’ house is in the West Zone of Rio, at a distance of 38 kilometers from the school, which is in the North Zone. The young man said that the time he spends on public transport is his biggest obstacle in his studies.
“What bothered me the most during my student journey was the distance from school. Bangu is a very far place. Every day, I have to walk to the bus stop, take a bus to the train station, take the train to São Cristóvão and I walk to Cefet. It takes two and a half hours just to go. On the way back, it’s the same thing. It’s five hours [no total] every day. There are days when I have to run outside so I don’t waste so much time,” she says.
During the Covid pandemic, Lucas was able to “save” this time to invest in studies. But he says that, despite this benefit, social isolation marked a very difficult period.
“The pandemic, in general, was very bad. At first, I wasn’t prepared for it. I stayed locked in my room for two weeks. My mother made a protocol for us not to get close to her, because she didn’t stop working. That was really bad, I didn’t talk to anyone. No personal and physical contact,” Lucas said.
The son of military parents, Lucas told, at the end of the interview, what his biggest dream is. According to him, despite being a “ready sentence”, the answer that best defines his desire is:
“My biggest dream is to make the biggest impact possible on as many people as possible in the best way I can.”