Scituate High School Welcomes Student from Brazil


Madeleine Levesque and Maeve Lawler

Vitor Rodrigues joined Scituate High School in September 2019 as a junior, traveling from the countryside of Brazil. Rodrigues came to the United States with his mother in hopes of getting a diploma and graduating. Regarding the future, Rodrigues is possibly considering going back to Brazil for college.
So far, Rodrigues says he’s enjoyed everything about living here, including his classes and developing new friends. Rodrigues likes American culture, stating, “People respect each other, people are very polite, and teachers give you all the support.”
Even though his mother does not speak English, Rodrigues learned English by teaching himself with the help of YouTube tutorials. He also appreciates working with his ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Nancy Molla, describing her as being friendly and helpful. Molla explained that Vitor’s success is due “in large part to the community of support that Scituate Public Schools provides.” After working with him for only a short time, she sees his confidence growing.
Heather Willinger, Rodrigues’s US History I teacher, describes him as “incredibly smart and hardworking.” She says he has a positive attitude and is outgoing with his classmates.
Despite being in a foreign academic environment, Willinger says Rodrigues is transitioning and understanding the concepts in class well. As English is not his first language, specific academic words can sometimes be a challenge to understand. “Just like if you were studying Spanish or French, you might understand words in conversation, but maybe less so specific academic words,” Willinger said.
Rodrigues brings a different perspective to his classes, particularly in history. Willinger is looking forward to Rodrigues learning about the United States government and civics and being able to compare these topics to Brazilian history.