What We Do

What We Do?

Since 2014, with the support of donations and sponsors, the Foundation has provided almost $50.000 in scholarships to 42 deserving students who are pursuing bachelor, degrees at accredited educational institutions throughout the United States.

The Foundation has a scholarship application with criteria that include an essay.  (For more details about The Scholarships, see the link to the scholarship application form and criteria).  We have a Scholarship Selection Committee that reviews the applications process and selects the winners.  The program operates through active partnerships with dozens of high schools, and community service organizations that assist in disseminating the scholarship applications and deadline information.

The Foundation will:

Treat students fairly and consistently, and not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or membership in any protected class.
Hold personal and identifying information as confidential, and not attribute or share it with third parties without the permission of the student.
Safeguard identifying and financial information.
Invite but not require students to participate in publicity or media appearances, without the student’s decision whether to participate having an impact on award decisions.


  • Domingos Carlos, President
  • Vera DeBrito Esdaile, Vice-President
  • Angela DeBrito-Job, Treasurer
  • Valeriana DeBrito, Administrative Secretary
  • Sergio Diaz, Public Relations Officer
  • Roy Job, Public Relations Officer
Pedro DeBrito tourney keeps a soccer legacy alive

The Pedro DeBrito Memorial Soccer Tournament returned to Wilby High this weekend for two days of games and fundraising and remembering the Waterbury man who was the greatest soccer player, ever, from Connecticut.

DeBrito, a Cape Verde native who arrived in Waterbury at the age of 15, did not attend the “new” Wilby. He was a student at the first Wilby, on Grove Street. He never played soccer for Wilby because the Waterbury school board did not discover this mysterious game until the 1980s.

But DeBrito’s talents were far too immense to remain secret. They were revealed through area club teams, even without the aid of school sports programs.

DeBrito was the true Special One. He scaled the heights of the soccer world. He played for UConn, won an NCAA national championship there in 1981, was a first overall draft pick in the North American Soccer League, was NASL Rookie of the Year, enjoyed 10-plus years as a professional, and was a capped member of the U.S. National team.

The kid from Cape Verde and Waterbury did OK, and that is what this tournament is about, to make sure that other kids do OK, too.

This second DeBrito Tournament attracted teams in three age groups from Connecticut and Massachusetts. The net will be cast farther afield next year, with a women’s division added, too. Combined with a tournament and fundraising dinner held in February in Miami, the still-young DeBrito Foundation raised enough money to present $10,000 in college awards this year.

That’s a big number for a foundation just 20 months old. DeBrito, who died in an automobile accident in July of 2014 at age 55, had a wide and strong influence on the game, and on the people who play the game, which is why the foundation took root quickly, and why players from across the region returned for another tourney. “Pedro either played with them, or talked with them, or had something to do with them,” said tournament director and former DeBrito teammate with the Tulsa Ambush, Luis Silva, “in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Miami. Everyone is here for one cause.”

Of primary concern is to remember DeBrito, but also, do what Pedro did.

“This is what Pedro wanted to do,” Silva said, an all-state player at Kaynor Tech, “help kids in need go to college.”

For the first time this year, the Pedro DeBrito award winner — presented to the best city high school soccer player, Zeltine Dos Santos of Crosby in 2016 — received a $1,000 DeBrito Book Award. Award money will also be presented annually to graduating seniors whether they play soccer or not.

“We will keep his legacy going,” Silva said.

On hand again this weekend was the Carlos brothers, most of whom played with DeBrito, at the club level or at UConn, and who were Crosby graduates who did not play soccer in high school for the same reason that DeBrito did not play.

“Pedro was a real amicable guy,” said Joe Carlos, who played for the Huskies for one season. “Everybody knows he was an outstanding soccer player. He was awesome, and he had a lot of passion for the field. Off the field, he always had his arms open, and he always helped people. He gave the shirt off his back to help anybody.

“Everybody loved him,” Carlos added. “That’s why we’re here.”

To be clear, there was a moment on Saturday when a few players forgot why they were here. The high school all-star game broke into hostilities late in the game. It was the last event on Saturday. The game was suspended with just minutes to play.

C’mon guys. What were you thinking?

Silva made the teams shake hands which, I must admit, seemed risky. And then he lit into the young men and reminded them why this weekend happens in the first place. His wise words were these: “This is not what Pedro was about. This is not what Pedro would want.”

I hope Silva’s words made an impression. To be fair to the kids, the senior players also have an occasion in-your-face moment. It is a tough game.

But fellas, please, remember Pedro. As Joe Carlos said, he was why you were here.

Want to make a difference?

Help us raise money for scholarship for our youth