My journey in the SGAC began in 2011 through a colleague that met with the SGAC director at the International Astronautical Congress. He did not know much about the organization at the time, but after a few minutes talking with the members, he came to realize that Brazil had no representation. Himself, he was over the age limit, but once back home, he try to recruit members. An email advertising the position of National Point of Contact (NPoC) eventually reach me. I applied to the position and became Brazil’s NPoC in 2012. At the time, I was starting my PhD and was struggling to make ends meet, but I believed that this work was important. I came to understand this importance much later and I am still realizing everyday how important it is. On that same year, in a last minute decision with only a week after moving from Brazil to Japan, I decided to attend the Space Generation Congress in Italy. After this congress in 2012, I was hooked and for the next 6 years SGAC became a part of my life. During this time I became Regional Coordinator (RC) for South America, Local Events Coordinator (LEC) and had the opportunity to attend and contribute to various SGAC events and even organizing a few of them.

During my second year as a RC my team and I organized the first SGAC regional event in South America. It was a lot of work. Many of us were in different time zones and had to coordinate activities and logistics in the middle of the night. Despite the challenges, the event was great and it was a life changing experience to see how the participants grasp at every single word of the keynote speakers and how they dedicate themselves to the working groups. South America does not have a well develop space industry, having other South American specialists come and share their work with the participants was a unique experience for many of them and a lesson in humility to us all. Our team’s resolution just grew stronger after that workshop and with the same long hours and dedication; we were able to organize a second regional event in the following year. The SGAC in the region developed, members grew and now teams come together every year to organize regional and local events.

After having this fantastic experience organizing events, I wanted to help others to do the same. In 2016, I became LEC helping various teams organize events in South, Central and North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. The SGAC is now hosting workshops, panels, and visits all over the planet and it is incredible to see so many students and young professionals working hard to bring this experience to others.

I am an engineer and through my profession, I have never considered doing the work I do with SGAC. I am especially grateful for the opportunities to attend the SGAC events where I form lifelong friendships and connect with amazing people that helped me find my place in the space community. Participation on the events was fundamental to me. They are a great chance to learn, give your opinion, and, perhaps most importantly, make friends. Friends that, many times, I get to meet just once a year. There is also where I meet in person many people that I have worked together for months and sometimes years, but I only knew them as an email or a voice on the phone.

The SGAC gave me the opportunity to have a positive impact in the space community and also to help and inspire others. It gave me the tools to learn new skills and interact with people that otherwise I would never be able to meet. It is not an exaggeration to say that working in the SGAC changed my life. The friendships and experiences I had thanks to being part of the team changed my perspective and gave me the opportunity to develop new expertise. Hard work is a fundamental part of it and it is how volunteers are able to achieve such great projects like the numerous events and project groups. All the late night work and long evening meetings are worth it. People is what SGAC is all about and I am very grateful to be part of this family.