My name is Zenaide Ribeiro. I was born and raised in a small town in Southern Brazil, surrounded by nature. I couldn’t ask for a better childhood. My father’s family emigrated from Italy, and my mother’s family was Brazilian. So I’m a mix of Italian and Brazilian. My family used to grow our own food. Ever since I was young, I used to work with my family to harvest the crops. My father used to distribute some of the harvest to people who didn’t have enough food to eat. Early on in my life, it became clear to me that I should always give to people who were in need. In this context, I found love for helping people.
During my first year of high school, I began volunteering at Pastoral da Crianca, an organization that helps to reduce child and maternal mortality and malnutrition. I went to a Catholic University in which Social Work was my major. At the University in Brazil, I became involved with the MST, a Brazilian’s Landless Works’ Movement, and the largest social movement in Latin America, in which the mission is attacking the roots of hunger in Brazil.
A significant moment in my life occurred when I came to the United States. That was a challenge. Moving to another country is a big commitment, so I had to make some adjustments to adapt to my new life. The biggest one was to learn another language, which was not easy at all. My life in America includes attending Worcester State College, in which Urban Studies is my major, and now I am member of the Commonwealth Corp, and I am part of the Ending Hunger Together Program.
A few months ago, I started volunteering with homeless children at the Village shelter. I believe each individual person can help in any way that they can, I have been living in this wonderful country for several years, so I consider United States my home now.