District Governor Martin Parnell began the explanation of today's award of a Paul Harris Fellowship to Helio Colaco.
Rotary established the Paul Harris Fellowship in 1957 to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions to what was then the Foundations' only program, the Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships.  In 1969 the Rotary Foundation unveiled the first Paul Harris medallion at the Rotary Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Since the International Assembly in 1979, where incoming RI President James Bomar challenged each Rotary Club to make one non-Rotarian a Paul Harris Fellow, the first recipient was Mother Teresa in 1980, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pikesville, Maryland.
Margie Booyens and Cinthia Correa Da Costa then filled members in about Helio Cosaco’s connection with Rotary and why he was being given this award by the Rotary Club of Sao Paulo (Sudeste).

Nicole Nemo, who is on the staff of the MH College, was part of the MH NGSE team that helped plan the 8-week virtual exchange of business graduate Juliana Nishitani of Sao Paulo. Nicole connected with colleague Helio, whom she knew had emigrated to Canada from Brazil and could speak Portuguese.

Helio mentored Juliana throughout her exchange program, interpreting, sharing, listening and supporting. He gave a huge amount of time and energy to Juliana and the program, which made a significant contribution to the success of the exchange.

Helio then went on to assist the RC of Sao Paulo (Sudeste), virtually, with the development and presentation of a Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) project at the Valentim Gentil Public School in Sao Paulo over a number of months this year. The Rotarians involved experienced Helio as a kind person, dedicated and totally involved with the project and the children. He remains virtually involved in the second presentation of this STEM project.

Helio lives out the Rotary motto of ‘Service above Self’ and has promised to consider membership of Rotary once he completes his Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence.

The Paul Harris Fellowship was presented to Helio by Cinthia Correa Da Costa, on behalf of the RC of San Paulo Sudeste and District 4420.

Congratulations Helio on your contribution to two Rotary projects – jobs well done! You are most deserving of Paul Harris recognition.