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Meet Sylvia Guimarães

Meet Sylvia Guimarães
Avenues São Paulo Creative Team

Portrait of Taísa Nunes

Sylvia Guimarães

Sylvia Guimarães has joined Avenues São Paulo as director of community engagement. Sylvia has extensive experience in education outreach, non-profit management, and social justice initiatives, especially in regards to literacy.

Sylvia is the co-founder and president of Vaga Lume, a non-profit organization that works to empower children in the Brazilian Amazon through literacy and library programs. Vaga Lume has impacted 8,000 children in the Amazon, who now attend 90 libraries in rural, traditional, riverside,  quilombola and indigenous communities. Since its founding, Vaga Lume has successfully trained 3,712 literacy mediators and has a network of 600 volunteers throughout the Amazon region.

Sylvia's professional accomplishments include advisory for institutions, Lina Galvani and Anchieta Grajaú. At Anchieta Grajaú, Sylvia had the opportunity to work in community and environmental development in the far southern region of São Paulo. At the Instituto Lina Galvani, she developed social and community responsibility programs for a mining company.

Sylvia has been committed to professional development, and has participated in several conferences in Brazil and around the world. Of note, in 2012 she attended the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, and in the previous year, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) IV Annual Forum in Qatar.

Sylvia has been widely recognized for her social entrepreneurship. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Intercultural Innovation Award by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW group, and in 2009, she received the Juscelino Kubitschek award from the Inter-American Development Bank (BID). In Brazil, Sylvia won the Visonaris-UBS Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the Jovens Lideranças prize from the O Estado de São Paulo newspaper and the Veja-se award from Veja magazine.

Known for her community leadership, Sylvia belongs to global networks such as Vital Voices Global Partnerships, based in Washington, DC, and BMW Responsible Leaders Network in Berlin.

Sylvia earned her bachelor's degree and accreditation in history at the Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Growing up, Sylvia participated in international exchange programs, such as Semester at Sea and the Children International Summer Villages Camps (CISV). She has also completed leadership development programs through Líderes_Germinar, and the Social Entrepreneurship Program at INSEAD in Fontainebleau in France.

In her free time, Sylvia enjoys gardening, yoga, spending time with her children, and seeking restoration from nature, especially in its rivers and waterfalls.



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