Not even the daily violence in the neighborhood where he lived in Rio de Janeiro stopped philosopher Wellington Miranda from achieving his dream of a new career. At 28 years old, he overcame the difficulties of accessing the internet, imposed by criminal actions in his region, to successfully complete Recode Pro and land a job in a technology company.

Para entender a mudança brusca na carreira, é preciso voltar no tempo. Wellington was born in Belém, Pará, but arrived in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro as a child, where his mother sought to offer him a better future. In adolescence, he moved to Praça Seca, in the West Zone of Rio, and began working as an apprentice at the age of 15.

As he finished his studies in philosophy, he developed a new desire: to pursue a career in technology. With this idea in mind, he started looking for courses online and found Recode Pro, which was open for enrollment for the 2020 classes that would train new programmers. While reading about the project on the website, he came across the testimony of a friend who had participated in the previous edition: “I had a conversation with her and, listening to her experience, I discovered something to aim for in that difficult year,” he highlights.

Through a selection process with more than 10,000 participants, which involved taking two online courses, a hackathon, and an individual interview, the philosopher overcame every obstacle and was selected for the project. But the difficulties didn’t stop there. Due to a confrontation between organized crime, the young man faced problems accessing the internet, as constant cable theft and illegal attempts by low-quality providers prevented him from staying connected.

“Isolated from the streets, isolated from the networks, what would become of my people if we didn’t learn to (re)exist? In the first few months, I went to the homes of neighbors and friends who welcomed me every morning. Then, I invested in a 3G internet package until the end of the course. A friend paid for one month, while another friend gave me a modern phone to tether to the network,”Wellington recalls.

And all the effort paid off. In addition to becoming a programmer, Wellington participated in the talent fair promoted by Recode and attracted the attention of Shell. Now living in Taquaruçu, Tocantins, he has been working as a data analyst in the finance area.

“I don’t believe in individual merit. My victory reflects the collective struggle of the black people. I represent Wilsiane, Denise, Martina, Luiz, Lara, Victória, Lucas, and many others who wish me well. Not that this is actually a victory, I represent the 3% of people in vulnerable situations and I am aware of that. My struggle is for the other 97% to have the right to a dignified and non-violent existence,”he concludes.

Check out the video with Wellington’s story: