Home Voices from abroad Karina Dias de Souza – a strong leader with a big heart

Karina Dias de Souza – a strong leader with a big heart

13th September 2018 0 comment
The motto ‘there are no limits’ has been a driving force in Karina’s life, helping her to become one of the few female general directors in the Instituto Federal de São Paulo’s Câmpus Salto in Brazil.


Karina started her career as a chemistry teacher. The inspiration for becoming a leader came partly from Finland, while she was participating in the Teachers for the Future programme in 2015.

– I was amazed by the strong culture of trust in Finland. You trust that everybody does their best without being constantly supervised. It is something I wanted to bring home with me!

Another thing that Karina was impressed by was the beautiful learning premises at TAMK, and how different learning spaces and colours support learning. This contrasts with the situation back home, where the school building is old and in bad shape. She decided to do whatever she could to fix it.



Due to the low budget, she contacted all the teachers and the parents of the students and asked if they would be willing to support the school by painting classrooms and fixing broken equipment.

– This is how I’m trying to bring the Finnish culture of trust into our practices. In addition to a better learning environment, working together has increased our team spirit and showed us that change is possible if you just pitch in.

Karina got her attitude towards life from her mother, her greatest idol.

– She would always tell me that there are no limits and you can become anything you want to be.