When he first started teaching, one of his third-grade students was wary of writing. But after working with Ferreira she started writing essays, stories and poetry.
“She completely blossomed as a writer,” said Ferreira. As an educator it’s not solely about giving students the tools but “seeing the kids realize their potential.”
Ferreira has been involved in education since college, where he volunteered at the Greenwich House preschool. After graduating from New York University with a degree in psychology, he stayed on at the school as a teacher for five years before a two-year stint with Teach for America.
Since becoming the director at BCAP, Ferreira's taken over the organization's summer camp, after-school and BCAP Express programs. He also helps plan curriculum, the coordination of camp enrollment and trips, among other duties.
The BCAP summer camp is a two-week program for seven- to 12-year-old children from a diverse range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. One of its goals is to teach youngsters how to use the resources within their neighborhoods for recreational and educational purposes.
“They learn about history, culture and art in fun ways,” said Ferreira, who was drawn to the camp because of its inclusionary ethic. “What really appealed to me was that it was for a broad population of kids.”
Campers get a behind-the-scenes look at art exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Children's Museum, and are given access to other borough institutions like the Botanical Garden.
Ferreira said participants make new friends and often stay in contact with each other when the award-winning program is over. (Last year it received a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama).
Ferreira loves teaching, but he said he's enjoying his new role as a supervisor.
“There’s a different creativity and knowledge needed, but I like the responsibility,” he said.