Claremore Daily Progress

Community News

August 8, 2012

Sousa’s march to success

Native Brazilian, Academic All American recounts struggles

CLAREMORE — For Henrique Sousa, coming to America was a means to an ends for him to play soccer.

A native of Sao Paula, Brazil, Sousa’s dreams of becoming a professional soccer  — or “futbol” — player seemed to be coming true when he received a soccer scholarship from Rogers State University in 2008.
The only problem? He couldn’t speak any English.
“I learned early in life to live every day to the fullest, to start every day with the attitude that you’ve got to work hard and make the most out of every day,” Sousa said. “Back in Brazil, I had a friend who loved soccer like I did — like I do — but he was in a motorcycle accident when he was 20 years old and couldn’t walk.
“Even so, he wasn’t angry with life, he was very upbeat, very positive, because up to that point, he’d been able to do what he loved in life — play soccer — and he had no regrets,” he continued. “From that point on, I took what happened to him as a lesson to me and always appreciated every day I was given, every 24-hours of every day, making the most of it, working hard to overcome adversities. Adversities which I ran into when I came to America, especially, since at that time, I could not speak English.”
Sousa, who many Rotarians already knew as a server, had worked for years at RSU in the food service, but addressed them Tuesday as a new Rotarian.
“It was very difficult when I first came here. I thought I was only here (at RSU) to play soccer, not to study, not to get a degree, but I quickly learned that if I was going to play, I would have to go to classes which wasn’t easy, speaking only Portuguese,” he said. “I couldn’t understand a word that anyone was saying to me in the beginning and I was having to study in order to play. I wondered what I was in for.”

Text Only
Community News
  • OHCE state meeting Oowala OHCE Group attends state conference in Norman

    The 79th Annual State Conference of Oklahoma Home and Community Education was held at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Norman, Okla. on July 13-15, 2014.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Child abuse awareness Timms brings child abuse awareness to Claremore
    Rodney Timms, a child abuse survivor, will visit the Rogers County Courthouse at 2 p.m. Wednesday as part of his 77 county tour.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Silent Auction Saturday at First Presbyterian Church Claremore

    First Presbyterian Church Claremore will host a Silent Auction from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 19.
    All items remaining in the two houses on 5th Street —105 and 109 E. 5th Street — will be auctioned off, among them, light fixtures, doors, cabinets, shelving, flooring, and more.

    July 18, 2014

  • American Red Cross offers volunteer opportunities

     Disasters don’t take summer vacations. American Red Cross volunteers are needed year round to help those struggling with the loss of their homes and belongings because of disaster.

    July 17, 2014

  • Paula Deen Keen on Deen

    Two weeks ago, Claremore resident Susan Hammett-Krackov took her daughter, Robin Baldwin, on a Mother’s Day excursion to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to meet celebrity chef Paula Deen. 

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zebra band kicks off summer practice
    A new school year is approaching, and for the Claremore High School Band, that means summer rehearsals.

    July 8, 2014

  • Hazel Mooney celebrates 100 years

    Hazel Mooney, a Claremore resident at The Brookfield, is celebrating her 100th birthday party this week.

    July 4, 2014

  • Willis Dr. Willis honored as a ‘Woman of Inspiration’

    Rogers State University’s Dr. Susan Willis was recognized as a Woman of Inspiration for serving her community with relentless dedication and passion while impacting the lives of area youth and community members.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • U Pick Them Berry picking on the 4th

    Sandra Patterson has her home on land that has been passed down in her family for over 100 years. In 2009 she and her husband, David, decided to do something with all of their acreage.  

    July 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • Edwards-Matheson named new Red Cross Advisory Board Chair

    Misty Edwards-Matheson is the new Advisory Board Chair for the Rogers/Mayes/Wagoner County Service Center of the American Red Cross.

    July 1, 2014