Brinkley-Lane Scholar: Julia Alves

Spending a year in North Carolina as part of an exchange program led 18-year-old Julia Alves to apply to East Carolina University and the Brinkley-Lane Scholars program.

“I chose ECU because of the university’s dedication to grow and support their international community,” Alves said. “From my initial contact with ECU, I was impressed by the tremendous support provided, especially during Selection Sunday, where they organized an online format for me.”

Although attending the Brinkley-Lane Scholars program’s Selection Sunday event — a day where program finalists interview for one of 20 spots — in person is required, an exception was made for Alves, the program’s first international scholar, so that she did not have to travel from Brazil to Greenville for the one-day event.

Brinkley-Lane Scholars is the most prestigious undergraduate award program offered at ECU. The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients receive a fully funded education, covering the cost of tuition, fees, room and board for both in-state and out-of-state students and unique high impact experiences, as well as the ability to explore the world with a $5,000 study abroad stipend. Scholars benefit from access to an array of leadership opportunities, research with award-winning faculty and a robust alumni network.

“Being a Brinkley-Lane Scholar means I have the honor to represent my country while also giving back to the North Carolina community all they have done for me,” she said.

Participating in a small, close-knit program is one aspect of the program that Alves is looking forward to experiencing.

“I’m most excited about the supportive community aspect of the program that will be like a family away from home,” she said.

While at ECU, Alves plans to major in psychology and to pursue a specialization in forensic psychology after obtaining her undergraduate degree, an interest that stems from a forensic science class during her senior year at Southern Guilford High School in Greensboro.

Although she wants to explore new interests, Alves is already interested in being involved with the International Student Association and the Student Government Association. She also has been mulling over options for her study abroad experience.

“Although attending ECU is already a study abroad experience for me, the opportunity to expand it to another type of program is awesome so I would love to go to Italy,” she said. “I can read in Italian, but I want to actually learn to communicate in the language. Also, it will be great visiting some of my former exchange student friends.”

Alves graduated from high school last year, but decided to take a gap year before beginning college so that she could spend more time in her country. She has been working as a teacher assistant for a nonprofit organization, teaching kids ages 6-8.

“Although it will be winter in Brazil, I’m looking forward to spending quality time with my friends and family, enjoying the beach and celebrating our country’s big holidays,” she said.

Alves is the daughter of Jakeline Alves and Pedro Souto of Salvador, Brazil.

“Being a Brinkley-Lane Scholar means I have the honor to represent my country while also giving back to the North Carolina community all they have done for me.”

High school: Southern Guilford High School

Intended major: Psychology

Current City: Salvador, Brazil

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