De Abreu leaves poverty, begins anew in SC
Pedro de Abreu has accomplished a lot since he moved away from a life of poverty in Brazil in 2005.
He became an American citizen, learned to speak fluent English and wrote a book. Now, he’s a third-year business economics, management and organizational leadership student, and he’s become a successful businessman since graduating high school in South Carolina, moving to Hollywood and co-creating his own multimedia company, Moofaces.
The work landed him in Sabirul Islam’s book “Young Entrepreneur World: How 25 Teen-Entrepreneurs Succeeded and Left World Leaders Scratching Their Heads” earlier this year.
Scott Simson, an author and motivational speaker, endorsed de Abreu’s book and believes that he was published in “Young Entrepreneur” because he was able to rise above his hardships to become an example of the American Dream.
“Pedro was included in ‘Young Entrepreneur World’ because he has proven that he can accomplish what he sets out to do,” Simson wrote in an email response. “He has proven every naysayer wrong by learning a new language, achieving outstanding grades, starting a company, persisting through hardships and finding success.”
Islam was unable to be reached for comment, but De Abreu said that the author selected teens who had used business ventures to impact and improve the world.
De Abreu does this now by traveling the country and the world spreading his message of using business to rise from the bottom.
“I have to let people know that there is greatness within them and that they can achieve anything with the resources they have,” De Abreu said. “I am making the world a better and more beautiful place by empowering people, especially teens, through my speeches. I am letting them know they have a choice.”
When he’s not speaking, De Abreu has been focusing on his school work at USC and teaching South Carolina children to play chess as apart of the Check Mate Foundation, which he founded to help kids learn to think.
De Abreu was given a chess set as a child and says that it taught him to think in a more logical and straightforward manner. He began doing better in school and found confidence through the game. He wanted to share that feeling with others.
Doyle Stevick, his mentor and a USC assistant professor of educational leadership and policies, said that de Abreu’s work in school may be his biggest accomplishment. Once, Stevick said, de Abreu reached out to the popular students of an elementary school and challenged them to include less-popular children who felt left out.
“It is one thing to be a leader,” Stevick wrote in an email response. “It is another to inspire leadership in others. Pedro has that quality. It is remarkable to see in such a young person.”
One of de Abreu’s main goals, he said, is to give people the confidence and knowledge they need to pursue their dreams and to not be afraid of failure. In his book, he writes that it is necessary to know where you are going, and he encourages people to find success by finding their passion.
“It’s not just teenagers or college students who don’t have direction,” De Abreu said. “There are people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s that have no idea what they want, but you have to find what you love and do it. I guarantee you there is a way of monetizing it. You just have to be bold and go after what you want.”