January 28, 2016
Danielle McNamara
(510) 987-0230


Three Brazilian state secretaries of education visited the MESA program at San Jose State University yesterday to explore replicating the model in the South American country.


The visit was organized by the Washington, DC-based NGO World Learning, the Brazilian US Embassy cultural affairs office and MESA.


Marco Antônio Brandão Lopes, Júlio Gregório Filho and Carlos Eduardo Vieira da Cunha, state secretaries of Acre, Federal District and Rio Grande do Sul, respectively, attended along with two cultural affairs officers.


“We are interested in MESA in ways that experiences contribute to high school students.  We look to tackle educational goals in lower socio-economic levels of (middle and high school students),” Lopes told the group through an interpreter.


The group got a crash course in the MESA model from MESA Statewide Office interim executive director Juanita Muñiz-Torres. 


“This is a wonderful opportunity to share the impact MESA can have on underserved populations,” Muñiz-Torres said.


Through translators, the contingent also heard from the pre-college and university-level MESA directors, San Jose State University associate deans and local industry partners from NASA, Lockheed Martin and Oracle Academy.


“MESA provides so many opportunities for student,” said SJSU MESA board member, MESA alumna and NASA employee, Maria Lopez.  “Because of what MESA did for me I was able to go to college and achieve so much.  Now I can give back.”