Jorge Venceslau, Program Director

Jorge comes to Age Of Discoveries with 23 years of years of experience, education and leadership in helping families and there loved ones to overcome addictions and clinical challenges. His real passion is helping young people find their purpose and meaning in life.

Jorge returned to Portugal in 2007 and loves the many outdoor activities like trekking, biking, paragliding, surfing and horseback riding. Jorge shares with passion the history of Portugal and all the beautiful sea, land and air adventures that we can do in Portugal. The world heritage villages and historical monuments are unique as the people with there traditions and food.

Jorge states, “What is most important is my work with young adults who are lost in their future, and how the experiential outdoor activities are so important in self-development and finding a meaning in life. The greatest gift is in helping young adults to change, and the families finding happiness.”

Jorge’s work in the field of addiction treatment centres has taken him around the world. Some of his favourite experiences took place at the Crossroads Centre on the Caribbean island of Antigua. The Crossroads Centre was founded by music legend Eric Clapton. Jorge’s work takes him to the United Kindom, Brasil, South Africa and of course, in Portugal.

Today, Jorge incorporates daily habits of healthy lifestyles, meditation, gratitude and acts of service that helps him to realize his potential, and to share it with others.


Jeff Dvorak, Admission Director

Jeff Dvorak grew up on Long Island, NY and after finishing high school there, he did a gap year with the National Outdoor Leadership School. His love of the outdoors, lead him to stay out west and attend the University of Montana. After graduation with a BA in Journalism and English, he began his education career working with at-risk youth—first in a therapeutic wilderness program in Idaho and, then creating and directing a service-learning program in Costa Rica for a therapeutic boarding school based in Western Massachusetts.

Jeff returned to school and completed a Masters of Education with a focus on Administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. After graduating with high honors, Jeff was given a full scholarship to participate in a doctoral program in Special Education Leadership at UMass. While working on his doctoral degree he continued to work in local public schools as English teacher and then an administrator. Subsequent positions included a post as a Assistant Principal in London, England and then five years as a college counselor for the San Francisco Public School District. Jeff spent 10 years working for The University of California, Berkeley as a freshman application reader, a position that has afforded him insight not only into what great universities are looking for, but more importantly what separates one great student from thousands of other high-performing applicants. Jeff is currently the college and career counselor for a number of small boarding and day schools.

Currently based in New York City; Jeff works and runs a Education Consulting practice that works with adolescents, young adults and their families to find and place students at top universities, traditional high schools, therapeutic programs and schools, post graduate and gap year programs, schools and colleges that serve students with learning differences, and programs that help young adults move towards independence.

Catarina Capinha, Clinical Psychologist

I started my career with Clinical Psychologist in the Departments of Psychology Evaluation in “Miguel Bombarda’s” Hospital Internment.

Then, for about ten years, I took steps in the clinical intervention with children, adolescents and families at the Center for Family Support and Parental Counseling at the IPSS “O Século” Foundation.

Now I’m responsible for the Technical and Management Department of the Residential Reception Department at the “O Século” Foundation, with the functions of management of the educational team and the technical staff of the Reception Houses, process management of young people and representation of the home in connection with judicial instances (Courts and Commissions for the Protection of Children and Young People).

A Member of the:

  • Portuguese Order of Psychologists with Professional Card Nº 2713
  • Candidate of the Portuguese Society of Art Therapy Nº044/12
  • Art Institutional Therapist credited by the Portuguese Society of Art Therapy CAP – Vocational Training Certificate of the IEFP – Institute for Employment and Vocational Training Postgraduate

I made a Course on “Child Abuse: Repercussions” – Lisbon Medical School Interview, Psychotherapy and Diagnostic Techniques Course – Training Center of Miguel Bombarda Hospital

Advisor in workshops and thematic seminars at the Portuguese Society of Art Therapy in the areas of Creativity, Psychopathology, Clinical Psychopathology and Art-Psychotherapy, Puppets and Masks, Processes of Creativity, Death and Mourning, among others.

Publications in several journals of the specialty on the subject of clinical intervention in Art Therapy and Psychotherapy. To see: Certified in the Portuguese order of psychologists and in Portuguese society of art therapy

Octávio Teixeira, Lead Guide

Octavio was raised in a small village in the north of Portugal, between granite walls and deep valleys, next to the Varosa river. Growing up surrounded by nature is where his love for adventure, mountains and green spaces was born. Octavio eventually became a military parachutist, serving in the Portugese TK MILITARY for TK YEARS.

After his military service, Octavio founded an adventure tourism company. For 24 years, Octavio has safely led clients on mountain climbs, kayak expeditions and canyoneering adventures across Portugal. Today, he leads students with Age of Discoveries on similar journeys, with the hope that he can help instill in them the same passions that have guided and enriched his own life.

“I have 3 great passions,” Octavo says. “Nature, animals and people. I think that if we manage to harmonize these three aspects, we will be able to live in an almost perfect world.”