Transcript of 2019 Awardee Beatriz de Oliveira Video

2019 Awardee Beatriz de Oliveira Video


What I love about reading is that feeling when you open a page and in the first few words you’re just placed in different world. It’s like you’re not even in your own home. I’m in a different universe, a different time. I have all these different people around me and I’m learning with them. I’m feeling with them. It really is a transformative experience.

For children in areas who might not have access to books, it really does hinder them to not be able to have these experiences, so that’s really where the idea for Books for Change was born. I’m originally from Brazil and walking into these places called [unknown] with 300 kids, only a few rooms for them, and not a single book. It was really humbling to me and really stuck with me.

I told my parents that I wanted to find a way to get these children books, and I really just pushed forward. I started knocking on my neighbor’s doors. I called up my friends, called up my family, as many people as possible to get involved. I made a webpage and I made a Facebook page, and then all of a sudden we were getting donations and it really just exploded from there and became what it is today.

Books for a Change has helped almost 10,000 children in Brazil gain access to reading. We have five chapters at five different high schools here in San Diego. With over 200 volunteers, we’ve been able to partner with organizations such as Words Alive and the International Organization [unknown] to donate books throughout Brazil, San Diego, and even in Mexico.

I was 13 when I started this project, and I think so many other people got involved because we’re all united by this passion for reading. You really need to love what you’re doing to reach that success.