Earlier this month, we invited 60 young people from three local organisations to São Paulo’s Autódromo de Interlagos, to explore the exciting world of motorsport. The event was Mission 44’s first in Brazil and marks the initial step on our journey to expand into the country.
When Sir Lewis Hamilton – who was awarded honorary Brazilian citizenship in 2022 – set up Mission 44, it was always with the ambition of being an international foundation. And with a third of young people out of education, training or employment in Brazil, there is a need to accelerate opportunities for young people in the country.
Our first event at the São Paulo Grand Prix was an opportunity to understand the barriers young people in Brazil face in accessing higher education and STEM careers, and to give local youth first-hand experience of the types of jobs STEM can lead to. The three organisations – Ação Educativa, Centro Educacional Assistencial Profissionalizante (CEAP) and Uneafro Brasil – each brought 20 of the young people they work with from the local São Paulo area, who throughout the day shared their perspectives on what needs to change in order for young people to thrive.
The inspirational day at Autódromo de Interlagos started with a group discussion on why diversity in STEM matters and what some of the barriers are to accessing these careers. Then we headed trackside to learn all about the variety of roles within motorsport with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, Pirelli and Lwart Soluções Ambientais, a local sustainable fuel company.
After this, the students transferred everything they had learnt from the day into practical demands for change, which they presented to Mission 44 Founder, Sir Lewis Hamilton. Lewis then spoke to the whole group about how his own experiences led him to start Mission 44 and why he’s so excited to start working in Brazil.
“We need to invest more in today’s youth, when it comes to fields like technology, science and maths. With more funding, we can show young people from underrepresented backgrounds that this is a field they can get into and achieve a lot. I’m sure that with more access to this type of initiative, the world will be a better place, with more accessibility and inclusion.”
“Mission 44’s event at the São Paulo Grand Prix was not only an opportunity to expose young Brazilians to the exciting world of motorsport, it was an important opportunity to listen to young people and understand their barriers accessing STEM and employment. The event marks an important milestone on our journey to supporting young people facing social injustice in Brazil.”
Thank you to all the individuals and Mission 44 partners who made this event possible: