Congratulations to the CCSAI Brazilian Club for being the 2019/2020 Club of the Year!
By: Sabra Ismath
The Brazilian Club is to broaden the Brazilian culture, share ideas and meet with new students. Fernando Gonzaga is the current vice president and is also a student at Centennial College in Mechanical Engineering Technology program.
When was the club first started?
Pedro Pin created the club in 2017. It’s growing with both Brazilian students and other Centennial students.
How did the process of starting a club begin?
Pedro was engaged in some of the events here at Centennial College and he came up with the idea to start a Brazilian Club. He then went to the International Center and spoke with a Brazilian person that worked alongside him. He advised him to go to the CCSAI, which lead him to start the club with a few friends.
What kind of activities does the club offer?
We have some events, a weekly event that is called Brazilian Coffee, and the name suggests that we drink Brazilian coffee but, no.
We help each other and share with others. If others need help, it’s a place where we get to know one another and try to get the community together. And sometimes we can find a person that needs something that others have, or another person knows.
The director’s weekly meetings are on Thursdays and it’s open to the general public, the Centennial community and team members.
What are some events your club has done?
We had events on entrepreneurship and immigration. When we hosted the immigration event, it wasn’t just advice on immigration, we had someone from Centennial talk about how he got his PR and his struggles and process of immigration.
We also have events just to have fun, like a pizza party! Since we like soccer we had events on that or like a carnival.
What advice do you have for people who want to start a club?
It’s a good idea to start a club that is one to gather people that have the same common interests as you or something you’d all enjoy doing together. Another reason to start a club is to learn new things with each other.
What’s the hardest part of running a club?
We meet weekly, once per week, and we normally brainstorm every week. We brainstorm and we pick up some ideas, but the problem is finding a good time and place for everyone that able to attend.
We can plan an event, for example, one event was on a Wednesday at 11 am but a lot of people are going to complain because they have class during that time. Not everyone understands us because we have to get a place that is available and plan accordingly so the guests are available to attend. Then we have to contact the CCASI to book the rooms. We also have to make sure our guests that are speaking at the event are available and sometimes they won’t be, so we have to think of another way to host the event.
It’s a lot of work and we can’t please everyone, and sometimes people complain about not being able to make it because it doesn’t fit their schedule.
What is the best part of the club, in your opinion?
The best part of the club is meeting new people. People I have never seen or met before would come to me because they saw me through our social media, and would ask questions. And I liked meeting new people, that was the best part.
Can anyone without the background of being from Brazil come to the events?
We advertise our events on Instagram and we advertise in English so it’s open for the Centennial community. The last events we had both Brazilian students and other Centennial College students were there.
What’s in store for the future of the club?
The president of the club and myself will be graduating this year so we are looking for people to replace us. We have assigned tasks to volunteers that are part of the club to help run it more smoothly. We try to do a post on Instagram weekly. We post what the college offers that people may not know and we have our marketing director in charge of this.
We continue with our Brazilian coffee biweekly which I hope they continue after I leave because it’s not just about drinking Brazilian coffee and talking, we hear out people’s struggles, and concerns and try to help them out. We also celebrate birthdays as an addition. We have a cake each month on one of the biweekly Brazilian coffee and celebrate whoever’s birthday is on that month.
Any last words?
I hope that after I graduate, the club will get stronger and united. We spread our future in the college. We haven’t started this but, it’s to teach Portuguese to everyone in the Centennial College community. We Brazilians are more representative in the college and maybe one day on the CCSAI board there’ll be someone who’s Brazilian.
Alongside that, I would like to let the Centennial community know that we are open to everyone. We’d like to welcome everyone and anyone, to join us. We like to meet new people and we’d like to see new faces at our next event!