On May 10, 1993, was born into a kind of forsaken poverty.
In a city called São Gonçalo, outside of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jhon grew up in an abandoned apartment without running water, energy, or a working toilet. That was the situation inside. Outside, in the bairro, prostitution, drug trafficking, and casualties surrounded him. Ever burned into Jhon’s mind was the time when he saw a person die right in front of him.
You can certainly see why others left this place behind. But, it was in this void that Jhon lived with his parents. Adding to the emptiness, Jhon had zero friends. His father was a bit of a handicap and a troublemaker, so the other kids steered clear of the Rolembergs—proof that ostracism can thrive anywhere.
“I'd always imagine myself getting out of that situation.”
As Jhon slunk into exclusion, two blessings emerged:
He was able to avoid the world of drugs and trafficking. He just never saw himself as being a part of that. “I'd always imagine myself getting out of that situation,” Jhon said.
His mind and dreams began to flourish as he started to draw.
As he continued to draw, the dreams became bigger and bigger.
“I dreamed of being an architect, and then I started to dream of becoming an engineer, and finally I dreamed of being an automobile designer,” Jhon said. “And, it was with that dream that Sérgio found me…when I was drawing his car.”
From the shop to the top
In 2005, Jhon was in his uncle's mechanic shop where MORE Project Director Sérgio Ponce discovered his talents. Jhon did a drawing of Sérgio’s car while it was in the shop. But, Sérgio didn't believe he had drawn it. Sérgio tore the drawing up and asked Jhon to do it again; this time right in front of him.
As Jhon etched it out, Sérgio became amazed with his talent and decided to enroll him into the best drawing course in the city. Normally it would take 6 years to reach the highest artistic level in this course, but Rolemberg reached the top tier in just 1 year.
In 2007, at just 14 years old, he did his first artistic exhibition in Brazil. It was an incredible success and Sérgio had the idea of exhibiting Jhon's works in the U.S.
In 2008, Jhon left the precarious public school to study in a private school paid by the MORE Project. They traveled to the U.S. and Jhon showcased his works at the MonaVie Believe Convention. All his paintings were sold within 1 day. The money was used to fix up the poor house he was living in with his father, since his mother had left them.
To this day, Jhon is always amazed that people love the work that he does.
“If they like my work, I love the result.”
“I never thought I was enough,” Jhon said. “When I was younger, I learned to leave the ego aside because my art instructor was very strict and rarely praised my work—that did good things to my character.
“Regarding people, I love to make them happy. If they like my work, I love the result. It makes me happy to see someone looking at my work and giving that little smile.”
In 2012, he finished high school and applied for a job at a multinational company. Among the 480 candidates, he got the job.
Re-igniting the dream
At the end of 2012, Jhon searched out Sérgio to thank him for all the support he had given, and once again, Sérgio encouraged him to continue to pursue his dreams and talent by enrolling at one of the best arts school, but this time the best one in Rio de Janeiro.
In the middle of 2013, Jhon resigned from his job at the multinational company to bring his talents to the MORE Project. Jhon is now known by his fantastic paintings, beautiful graphic arts, and huge talent. He is living in a good apartment near the MORE Project and working as a graphic designer in its marketing department.
“My dream is to become a great artist and improve more and more each day,” Jhon said. “My work as a designer is one area that the MORE Project has opened doors for me and I have loved it more and more each day.
“I aim to be able to study art and design overseas and gain more knowledge and experience. To be part of the MORE Project is also my dream. I want to get to the level where I can help the MORE Project grow more and more!”
Jhon’s creative genius is already shining bright at the MORE Project. He created the MORE Momentum logo and imagery. As with everything Jhon does, he does it with meaning and feeling. Here is the meaning behind each part of the MORE Momentum logo that he designed:
The circles mean the gathering of all participants…each person coming together for one goal: to give back to the MORE Project.
The letter M comes from the MORE Project and represents our goal, cause, and purpose.
The mixture of colors represents diversity.
All these elements form the MORE Momentum logo.
Hundreds of children at the MORE Project have dreams like the one Jhon has. Give them a chance to achieve it by donating to the MORE Project today.