When Thiago Alves was a teenager, his dream was similar to that of many young Brazilians – he wanted to be a soccer star. A career in technology was not even on his radar until his mother enrolled him in an introductory IT course, and from there, Thiago was hooked. Today, he is pursuing a postgraduate degree in Software Engineering, and teaches at the Cisco Networking Academy at Nave do Conhecimento, a project of the Secretary of Science and Technology of Rio de Janeiro (SECT) that brings digital inclusion and IT instruction to various communities. Now, Thiago can add one more item to his list of accomplishments – he was selected to take part in the 2016 Olympic Games Torch Relay.
“This was a wonderful surprise. I am really proud professionally, because Cisco and the SECT selected me. It means to me an appreciation of my job here at Nave do Conhecimento,” Thiago says.
He was introduced to the Cisco Networking Academy Program after graduating from Estácio University, where he studied Development and Systems Analysis. Though Thiago had extensive programming training, he did not know much about networking. But with Cisco’s support and training, Thiago became a certified instructor in the program.
“It was exactly what I was looking for in my career,” Thiago says. “It was an opportunity to study and be trained by Cisco – one of the biggest network companies in the market. Who would not be interested in taking part in a program like that?”
Thiago remains excited and energized by the daily activity of teaching in the Cisco Networking Academy. He enjoys helping the students grow their knowledge and improve their job prospects through technology and IT training.
“It is special to take part in this social innovation initiative that is offering technical training to disadvantage communities,” Thiago says. “We are creating opportunities for people that would never imagine to have a chance like this to become a networking professional.”
The experience has been rewarding for him as it has been for the students. And now, Thiago is being recognized for his achievements and dedication to teaching by participating in the Olympic Torch Relay in his home country.