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"Today you are NOVA's newest champions. Tomorrow, you will be the leaders the world needs". Find out who won NOVA Young Talent Awards 2024 here

NOVA University Lisbon has once again honoured the best first-year NOVA students for the 2022/2023 academic year and the directors of their secondary schools of origin. 

"This award is NOVA's recognition of your dedication and perseverance. May it also serve as an incentive to maintain this level of excellence throughout your academic and future professional careers", stressed NOVA's Dean, João Sàágua, at the beginning of the NOVA Young Talent Awards (NYTA) ceremony, before going on to emphasise that "our goal is clear: to train innovative leaders capable of facing the challenges of the future with resilience and creativity" - in short, "today they are NOVA's young champions. Tomorrow, they will be the leaders the world needs".
It was this Tuesday, the 2nd, that the auditorium of the Rectory of the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa was filled to applaud the 40 students who stood out in the first year of each of the NOVA courses.

As well as recognising the commitment and dedication of the students, the Rector emphasised that this award "is also a tribute to the secondary schools that have done such a good job of preparing their students, now ours, for a brilliant start in academic life".

There was also time to listen to the inspiring testimony of Nuno Palma dos Reis, a 6th-year student of the Integrated Master's in Medicine at NOVA Medical School in Lisbon, who already has an outstanding track record: director of partnerships and later president of the iMed Conference - a meeting that brings together students, doctors and researchers to look at the future of medicine - and also founder and executive president of NOWACE, a junior company at NOVA Medical School and the first of its kind founded by medical students in Portugal.

"Don't settle, keep asking questions and use your education to make a difference in the world."

"I am passionate about technology and innovation in healthcare, and I believe that medical students are in a privileged position to help shape the future of healthcare," began Nuno Palma dos Reis, who was also the winner of the NOVA Starters Academy 2022, one of the university's entrepreneurship programmes for students, before launching into an inspiring, and perhaps a little provocative, speech.

"On this day dedicated to celebrating your success, I want to talk to you about failure. Forget about the bright academic future you've had so far and think about a time when you failed. It's difficult, isn't it? Let me do the exercise too," continued Nuno Palma dos Reis, recalling, among other things, that he had not been able to get into medicine on his first try and that in his second year, he had failed in his favourite subject because he was "convinced that he did not need to study". In a speech that was widely applauded, he also insisted that we all need to become more accepting of our failures so that we can learn from them. "After all, even Ronaldo misses penalties! Over the years we have been taught that we cannot fail. But I think the reality is different. If we don't fail, it's because we didn't try hard enough. If we want to achieve something of value, we have to leave our comfort zone and take risks. If we want to change something around us and challenge the status quo, we have to answer and ask uncomfortable questions. I have lost count of the number of times I have made mistakes. But because I have expanded my horizons, because I have taken risks and made mistakes, I know I will be a better doctor. In short, "don't settle, keep asking questions and use your education to make a difference in the world".

Included in the University's Strategic Plan for 2020-2030, the Talent@NOVA Program is made up of several subprograms dedicated to all those who make up the NOVA community, whether professors, researchers, collaborators and students. Known as NYTA, the initiative that brought together part of the NOVA community this afternoon is just one of these measures.