Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: August 5, 2019 / 2019 40 Under Forty Awards Honorees

Stephen Schirra

Photo | J. Fiereck Photography Stephen Schirra


Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Around the Worlds, Around the World Inc.

Age: 26

No. of years with current company: 3.5

Town where I live: Ellington

Town where I work: Worldwide

College: University of Connecticut

Highest degree: Bachelor’s degree in actuarial science

Who is your favorite superhero? My mother

Stephen Schirra is the founder of Around the Worlds Inc., a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to using soccer as a platform to better the lives of underserved children worldwide. Since the organization's first Peru-based program in 2015, it has directly taught soccer to over 4,780 children in 44 countries spanning five continents.

Going beyond organized instruction, the nonprofit's equipment donations (including 1,778 hand-delivered soccer balls) have indirectly impacted over 53,000 young athletes.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career?

In this field, it’s important to celebrate victories, no matter how great or small. Our biggest triumph came in 2016, when a formerly rebellious young orphan in the Dominican Republic participated in one of our programs and redirected his own life to receive a scholarship at a prestigious new school.

How are you involved in the community?

I spend off-days between international programs doing speaking engagements at elementary classes, school clubs and college summits, hoping our story might inspire a new generation of difference-makers and change-seekers. We also have a permanent scholarship fund that recognizes a high school student using sports to impact the community.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends. Given the nature of our programs and the weight of circumstances our attendees have been through, I’ve especially had to lean on these support circles for strength and understanding. They aren’t easy conversations to have, but they’ve certainly helped me keep going.

Four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

• Has secured grants and strategic partnerships from large-scale corporations such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, PlayStation, New Balance, and more.

• Work has been seen domestically on ESPN, as well as national news networks ABS-CBN (Philippines) and CNC3 (Trinidad & Tobago).

• Has brought professional and national-team caliber athletes into programs, while also working alongside Nobel Peace Prize laureates during international collaborations.

• Humanitarian work has garnered recognition from the New England Patriots and Revolution, Boston Celtics, Robert Kraft, Major League Soccer, and more.

Fun Fact

I enjoy eating exotic food — turtle, eel, frog, balut (bird embryo), soup #5 (bull’s testes).

Return to HBJ's 2019 40 Under Forty landing page

Sign up for Enews


September 13, 2019

You are doing amazing things. Keep going!

Order a PDF