Geração NOVA was created by SASNOVA with the aim of bringing together the community of students and alumni who have had in the past, as well as in the present contact with the activities and services promoted by SASNOVA (whether within sports, cultural and recreational activities, or accommodation services, psychological, financial or material support). Geração Nova is supported by all those who are sensitive to the importance and value of higher education and the conditions and well-being of students attending university. Elvira Fortunato, former scholarship holder, full professor and the winner of the 2021 Pessoa Award supports the Geração Nova scholarships.
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Geração NOVA in the first person. Meet some of the students who have benefitted from scholarships:
- Filipe Valadas 2011-2017: FCT NOVA (Biomedical Engineering), NOVA SBE (Masters in Management), Business Alnalyst at McKinsey & Co.
Could you describe your contact with SASNOVA and the importance of their support in your academic training? What were you greatest challenges? SASNOVA, whether through sports or social action directly, was remarkable and decisive in the success of my studies and in helping get where I am now. After the 2008-2009 crisis both my parents were unemployed and thanks to the support of SASNOVA and DGES, not only did I continue studying, but I also developed projects with the University itself to build my future. One of the most complicated moments I went through, was when I had already started to lead a sports project, (which at the time was promising with a team of over 20 Korfball athletes and with whom 3 years later we won the national university championships), and suddenly I found myself at a dead-end. I couldn’t afford to pay the tuition fees for the second semester. The same could be said for my family who was going through a very complicated situation and was having to make difficult decisions every day. I thought of interrupting my studies for a short period of time but before doing so I talked to SASNOVA. With the help of Dr. Paulo Silva and Dr. Iva Matos and several other people that were certainly decisive but who I never met, SASNOVA decided to support me with a social emergency allowance from the University. A huge weight was lifted at that moment. I saw in SASNOVA a friendly entity truly concerned with its students. It was a turning point. From then on, everything improved, I was able to generate some income of my own which, together with the scholarship, allowed me to continue my studies. I also decided, with double the commitment, to dedicate my academic mission as a student to the development of a sports hub at NOVA.
Why is it worth helping? It is always worth helping someone. I can only thank SASNOVA for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to also give back in some way. SASNOVA opened the door for me to create a sports team, lead a project and be able to bring something positive to the lives of more than 50 athletes from various courses, colleges and regions of the country during 5 years. We raised the Portuguese and NOVA flags at the European University Korfball tournaments and formed great friendships and bonds around SASNOVA and the University.
What advice would you give to a scholarship student? My advice to any scholarship student would be that the earlier you realize the opportunities that the scholarship can give you, the better. Use them in order to determine your success and the success of others, and if you ever feel that you want to do something to support others or if you are just in a complicated situation, speak openly to SASNOVA.
- Jéssica Andreia Mourinho Pratas 2017 – Present – NOVA FCSH – Geography
Could you describe your admission to the university and how you became aware of and came into contact with SASNOVA? Although I am attending the 1st year of my Master’s degree, I joined NOVA University of Lisbon in 2017, in the Geography and Regional Planning course at FCSH. Moving from a small town in Alto Alentejo to the capital was an important step that was marked by entering the new and challenging world of university. Leaving my comfort zone became possible thanks to the services provided by SASNOVA who, to this day, help and support me in their unique way. Through contact with colleagues from more advanced years, I became aware of the support given by the university, so the day I enrolled I mentioned my doubts and questions, specifically concerning accommodation. I knew that I had to apply for accommodation at the Halls of Residence, so on that day I applied, and was later accepted. Ever since that first contact, SASNOVA has always supported me.
What was the importance of the scholarship in your academic training? Besides being an essential financial aid in order for me to continue at university and consequently in Lisbon, it is a strong incentive not only to progress in my studies but also to aim for a promising professional future.
What were the biggest challenges you faced? The biggest challenge was without a doubt facing the first month of the first year of the degree, when I was not automatically given a place in Halls of Residence. While I was on the waiting list, I had to rent a room on the other side of the river, which was a heavy expense. However, given the support provided, this expense was recognized and heavily discounted by Social Services.
Why is it worth helping and cherishing this project? It is crucial to cherish this project because there are many students who need this support and incentive. If it wasn’t for the support of SASNOVA, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be where I am today. Knowing that other colleagues can take advantage of the same incentive and help that I benefit from is the best reason to invest in a project that, much like others created by SASNOVA, takes our dreams and ambitions into account, making them come true.