The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Student recognized for leadership, business skills

Everton Melo

By Raegan Scharfetter/managing editor

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s BizVenture Collegiate Entrepreneurship program has recently awarded TR student Everton Melo for his leadership and business skills.

For BizVenture, Melo completed an online application and essay, where he focused on potential business ideas, and also had a phone interview. As the only community college student, Melo competed in a five-minute business proposal competition against 16 other students from universities across Texas.

Melo, a Brazilian international student, has been in the U.S. nearly two years and is pursuing a degree in film and a minor in business.

Although he was one of the few chosen, Melo didn’t think he would be selected because of his age and major in film. When he saw the email congratulating him, he was surprised.

“It reminded me that sometimes we put some negativity in things throughout our lives that we don’t even try,” he said. “We never know what can happen. So it doesn’t hurt to try or ask.”

Melo believes he was selected due to his passion, interview and life experience. Attending many interviews in life teaches people how to learn the flow of an interview, he said.

One of the biggest takeaways was the networking available during BizVenture, he said.

Melo had a one-on-one moment with representatives and owners of businesses around the U.S. such as Apple, AT&T, Coca-Cola and Bank of America.

“The workshops at BizVenture helped me learn the power of a passionate speech based on facts and simplicity,” he said. “I can’t stop analyzing everything that I do and my surroundings now looking for those key characteristics.”

Melo’s biggest struggle is that he still doesn’t clearly express himself in English, and he feels like he misses out on some opportunities. He is also not a resident, which makes things difficult.

“I have a personal depression problem because of the amount of failures in my life,” he said. “I am starting life from zero and going back to college and trying everything that I can. I am surviving, but not growing up here makes my schoolwork way denser than everybody else.”

But luckily for Melo, he has never felt discriminated against and has overall felt accepted and welcomed, he said, especially in Texas.

“I think the American people in Texas have accepted me really well and invited me in to their culture,” he said.

In regard to international students, Melo said diversity is key.

“As a Brazilian, I embrace my culture and talk about it to my friends, so they can understand my background and personality,” he said. “But at the same time, I try my best to be around a diverse group so I can learn new things, too, and share new things too.”

During Melo’s first year of college in the U.S., he worked on a few filmmaking projects. In 2017, he produced and directed two short films called Waters of Life and Deception.

Melo is the TR Film Club president, Drama Club member, South Campus Film Club member, mentee of the Men of Color Mentoring Program and is currently trying to start a public speaking club at TCC.

“I was really glad to represent the community college students,” Melo said. “I hope I can inspire other community college and Latino students to remind them to never think because you are part of a minority that you have to treat yourself as a minority.”

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