Program Areas

The Opportunity for Young Brazilians

Guided by recommendations from our Brazilian partners, BRAYCE recruits motivated, community-minded high school age youngsters with functional English, to participate in a Leadership Training Program at Camp Hazen YMCA in Chester, Connecticut. Here they acquire many new skills, confidence, self-assurance and fluency in English. In addition, with a conviction that with hard work and perseverance, like their American friends, they can expect and plan a future.

In Brazil we work with our established partner organizations to identify and select motivated young people with belief in themselves, ambition, and personality.   Facility in English is necessary, the level being dependent on the program the young people are attending. We will be working with several local Rio language schools to provide some tutoring in English.

This is the entry level for 15 year olds with the potential to become Leadership trainees the following year.  Campers come for three weeks at Camp Hazen followed by a one week home-stay with an American family with youngsters of a similar age.

Campers are trained and supervised in four activity areas by 17-25 year old counselors. Many of these counselors, who come from all over the US and the world, return for many years thereafter and are able to bring their considerable leadership skills into play over several years.

Leadership Trainees
These 15 – 17 year-old boys and girls attend a LEA (LEAdership) program. Generally there are about 20 other trainees in each of the three summer sessions. Participants have a full three weeks of leadership workshops, teambuilding, belay training, working together as a group, planning activities, participating in camp program areas and contributing to the camp community. An optional fourth week is dedicated to obtaining an American Red Cross Lifeguard certification.

Leadership Workshops include:

  • Bully Prevention
  • Communication Skills
  • Public Speaking
  • Developmental Assets
  • YMCA World Service
  • Values Discovery
  • Leadership Styles
  • Belay School
  • Customer Service
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Safety as an Attitude
  • Strife Guarding
  • Expanding Comfort Zones
  • Child Abuse & Prevention
  • Problem Solving

Assistant Counselors and Counselors
These are 17 – 25 year olds who have previously attended as trainees and who pass the stringent Camp Hazen Counselor selection process. They participate for the entire summer – nine weeks.  They receive specialist Counselor training and are paid a small stipend.

Returning to Brazil, all BRAYCE graduates have an incredible impact on their favela neighborhoods. Here they become inspirational role models, injecting a sustaining, positive influence on their peers and younger siblings and contributing to the enrichment of community life.

The Opportunity for Young Americans

Americans student interns are recruited from colleges and universities in the northeastern United States where Brazilian Studies, including Brazilian Portuguese language instruction, constitute part of the curriculum. An interest in human rights and social justice, maturity, and experience in working with children are prerequisites for selection. Participation in community service projects and knowledge of Brazilian culture is an advantage, but not essential.

Interns perform community service in favelas under the aegis of BRAYCE partner organizations (see BRAYCE Partners). This includes teaching English and supporting projects such as habitat, mentorship, health education, sports, music and other enrichment programs for children and teenagers.

The Brazil internship is life-changing for American BRAYCE interns. They become role-models for the young people they teach, providing excitement, innovative ideas and cultural interaction. Apart from improving Portuguese language skills, the experiences can open doors to graduate studies, future employment and enhance long-term career prospects.