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Photo caption: 1) Ronaldo Teixeira (’17) wants to do the best possible work at RMC, from improving his English skills to prospering in academics to playing great soccer.
2) Ronaldo Teixeira welcomes the crowd June 8 to the 2014 Festival of Cultures of the Institute of Peace Studies at RMC.
Divin ópolis student thriving on a new continent at Rocky Mountain College
BILLINGS, August 4, 2014 – His first year, Ronald Teixeira’s classes “pushed me to my limits. I needed to read and to study and to translate a lot. All the Rocky teachers are good teachers because we have the freedom to go to their office and say ‘I didn’t understand this,’ and they help.”
From Divinópolis, a city of 250,000 in the Brazilian state of Mina Gerais, Teixeira is a sophomore aviation management major at Rocky Mountain College.
He appreciated his composition teacher when he arrived, Assistant Professor of English Precious McKenzie, who was herself a new teacher at RMC. “The teachers here care about the student,” Ronaldo reports. “They refuse to let you have the possibility to fail.”
“He’s extremely competitive within himself, challenging himself to be better and better and better,” Amber West Martin, director of international programs, said of Teixeira. That internal drive to succeed brings enormous rewards to RMC students who tackle obstacles.
For his first trip to North America a year ago, Ronaldo said, “Everything is new! You are excited! I knew at the same time I had the challenge of everything new. The way they received me, they made me very comfortable.”
Teixeira said Cindy Kunz, director of the Institute for Peace Studies at RMC, told him, “‘If you’re a good man, you’re hired.’ She has helped me a lot with my English.”
West Martin added, “That’s Cindy’s [opportunity], to work very closely with students of diverse backgrounds. It’s been very good for him. That’s what’s wonderful about having such close working relationships [at RMC] … There’s recognition here that every culture is respected.”
Alongside his aviation management study, Teixeira is a center midfielder on the RMC soccer team. He uniformly lauds his soccer teammates for supporting his journey. “Keep it simple, please; … and don’t put just one name [of my teammates], please,” he insists. “They all help me. I have teammates from everywhere: England, Ireland, Sweden. I had not spoken very much English when I arrived, and they have supported my learning.”
Oliver Gore (’15) has said to Teixeira, “I’m proud of you; you’re learning all the time.” Teammates told him, Teixeira said, that “the first winter is hard, but it’s going to get better; they’re always asking if I’m needing anything.”
The diverse cerrado [tropical savanna] around Divinópolis has no frost, let alone snow. “There is fruit on all the trees,” he reminisces –“Mangos, coconuts…”
“The perception I have of Billings is that the people all want to have a good education,” Teixeria said.
“[What] I like about the U.S. that [people] have a plan: If they are going to fix a road, they know how they will fund the repairs. When we travel with the team, we have all the fields and hotels before the season starts. To set up your classes, you have an advisor who helps.”
“In Brazil,” he said, “you need to be working and thinking very quick. People may not think one step ahead as much.”
“People are very nice to me here – very receptive,” said Teixeira. “I like that people understand your different background. I like when people want to understand more about my culture and my country. It’s good because I learn with them, and they learn with me.”