The first black Brazilian approved at MIT MBA sold popsicle in childhood – Diario do Grande ABC

The first black Brazilian approved at MIT MBA sold popsicle in childhood - Diario do Grande ABC

As he was 26 years younger Wellington Vittorino, he heard from his family that a change in his reality would come from education. “At home, there was nothing left, but nothing was left,” he says, who teaches in a public school and the first black Brazilian to attend an MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States The individual has become one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Born in Niterói, Wellington lived a large part of his life in São Gonçalo, nearby. After attending all grades in public schools, he received a scholarship to an elite school in the south of Rio. In the entrance exam, he was approved at all universities and scored 1,000 in the Inam Newsroom, opting for a full ProUni scholarship for business administration at Ibmec. His gaze had already turned to entrepreneurship.

Of course, everything came very slowly. At the age of 8, Wellington helped his father sell everything as a street vendor on Sakrema Beach. At the age of 12, he started a popscale resale business – and was authorized by police in the area to sell inside the military police battalion. This was the first turning point of his life, he admitted.

In Popsicles he added sweet sales: he opened 23 points of sale in the city. He included the family, hiring his aunt and another freelancer to help him get hired. Until the age of 17, he never missed a sale in the battalion. He also attributed his newspaper to the institute’s colonel, who gave him a 50% scholarship to a private school in São Gonçalo. The other half Wellington insisted on paying with candy benefits.

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The new level came in 2012, when he saw a lecture on business and career and sent an e-mail to the speaker telling his story. Isharo provided him with a full scholarship for the third year of high school at Escola Perk. It was a troubling period, with low grades and an ungrateful routine, from 7 am to 8 am with no time to bridge the gap between studies and public and private education. “In the first two months, I failed six subjects.” However, he was not discouraged. A former teacher arranged for a place close to the school to live – he also slept for eight months in the teachers’ room of a public school in Leblon.


In Ibmec, he stood out as a partner and the watchdog of the institution. He entered a selection process at Fundação Estudar in 2015, and 24 were chosen from over 60 candidates. In the end he won a scholarship of the year award given by founder Jorge Paulo Lemon.

This was when, realizing the importance of young people in the future of the country, he created Proleeder to help train young leaders. “With every step we take in life, we need to take other people with us. This is one of the objectives of the Proleader”, he says.

The idea led to another point, the creation of the Four Institute, a non-profit organization that trains and develops young leaders who think of ways to solve challenges in Brazil. The organization is responsible for Prolyder, which trained over 200 leaders to work in public, political and entrepreneurial environments. The pursuit of diversity is also part of the principles of the institute. “Since 2016, we have already talked about gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class inclusion and diversity. And we are also looking for youth from outside the South and Southeast countries,” he it is said. Prolider already has young people who have received mayors, councilors, investors and awards, in the United States, in addition to two acknowledgments at Harvard University.

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The institute is also responsible for the Four Summits, a conference that debates Brazil’s core strategic areas, with a focus on innovation and technology. In the two days of the event, about 700 people were brought to the 1st edition in 2019, with more than 90 speakers.

MIT and politics

After graduation, the dream of studying in MIT gradually became. After a few visits to the United States to visit universities funded by Fundaco Educar and other entrepreneurs – the desire to attend an MBA only increased. He tried twice, passing in the second time.

Now, Wellington is preparing to move to Boston, home of the school. There are plans to start a two-year course in August. The MBA program confers the title of Master of Business. To do so, he will be stepping away from the Executive Board of the Instituto Four for a while, but he does not intend to leave the institute.

Wellington also does not rule out the possibility of running for public office. “First I want to work and contribute to the business sector for 20 years. And then, yes, to enter political life”, he admits. “Public policies are fundamental to reduce social inequality in Brazil.”

Information is from the newspaper s. State of Paulo.

About the author: Sarah Gracie

"Proud social media buff. Unapologetic web scholar. Internet guru. Lifelong music junkie. Travel specialist."

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