Youth Connection Program Reaches More Than 2,000 People

Hundreds of teenagers in the Pasto de Fora and Caboto communities of Brazil are better prepared for the working world thanks to an initiative called Youth Connection offered by Dow and the Social Services of Industry (SESI) organization.

In the seven years that Youth Connection has been in operation, it has helped more than 2,000 young people learn what it means to be an entrepreneur by:

  • Hosting workshops introducing information and communication technologies
  • Promoting vocational activities
  • Training and empowering community leaders
  • Promoting the creation of associations and other opportunities for income generation
  • Developing artistic and cultural skills among young people
  • Improving interpersonal and work skills among young participants

In just one of the many Youth Connection programs, Priscila Campos, an analytical technologist at Dow’s Aratu site in Bahia, Brazil, met with students at local schools to shed some light on the potential offered by careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“The most interesting part is to see the glow in the eyes of young students – who often do not even know which way to go in working life – and know that you can make a difference in their lives, know that you can contribute to their growth by encouraging them to look for a better education and also awakening to the importance of science careers,” Campos said. “We learned a lot together. It was a very rewarding experience.”

Campos performs quality control at a Dow facility that produces caustic soda, and also manages the site’s Laboratory Information Management System. Her activities include preparation and standardization of solutions, processing of samples and final product analysis, as well as training new employees, reviewing existing methods and developing new methodologies.

“For me, the most interesting part of my job is being able to optimize and develop new methodologies, putting into practice what I have learned in school,” Campos said, explaining that it was important to get across to the students how much fun a scientist’s job can be. “I introduced some photos from our laboratory and explained a little of our process. We had a really nice talk about our role in a factory.”