SIN-JFK in Less Than a Week: The Full Story

Joao Nina Matos
2 min readNov 2, 2021
Went to watch the sunrise on Brooklyn Bridge on the second morning with new TKS friends

The last Monday of October, my friend Valkyrie Holmes (shoutout to her for literally giving me the opportunity of a lifetime) dropped me a message after school to call me to tell me the craziest thing just happened: she just got a sponsorship to go to New York City next week. She sends me the tweet about all the sponsorships and we both figure I could try apply too — at this point I’m over the moon imagining I could go to New York, but in reality I don’t think I really believed it was possible, but nonetheless of course I went to apply. I new there were quite a few applicants, so I made sure I was noticed; I got my name everywhere, and even got the CEO of the startup giving out sponsorships to notice me and ask for a chat with me.

2 days after I applied, I was sent the money to go to New York City next week — and now I’m writing this on the plane, about 5 hours away from JFK. Literally, as I write, I’m flying over the North American continent for the first time in my entire life.

I’m getting the chance to attend a conference on NFTs, and get more involved in the really vibrant ecosystem, as well as meet many of my TKS friends I’ve spoken to for weeks or sometimes months, for the first time in person. It’s also been the most incredible thing as I’ve shared the news to my friends & family, and put things up on my socials, I’ve had people congratulate me from all sides of my life. People who I haven’t spoken to in months, or professional contacts who I’m not generally close with, have personally reached out to me to say congrats. I couldn’t be more thankful for everything, from the sheer fact I’m going to New York, to my friends who have been so supportive and endorsing of me.

I found out about this opportunity on Monday, got the money on Wednesday, booked my flights Thursday, and flew out Saturday night. In less than a week, I went from thinking about my Math test at school next week, to making plans in NYC. This means so much to me because it’s a trip I’ve wanted to do pretty much all my life, and to me it’s also a little bit of a testimony to the dividends paid by my work over the years, exposing myself to more opportunities and cultivating the mindset that’s gotten me to where I am today.