COMMUNITY MVP CONTEST
Each year, Major League Soccer and Wells Fargo recognize individuals who use soccer as a tool to make a difference in their community.
At the age of 23, Stephen Schirra set out on a mission to use sport as a vehicle to create positive change and to make a difference in the world. In an effort to merge his passion for travel and the game of soccer, Stephen decided to bring a ball with him wherever he went. What followed were stunning shots of him freestyling in front of famous landmarks and beautiful locales. He started a blog called Around the Worlds, Around the World, and an Instagram account filled with gorgeous images from his travels. The name and his vision materialized into Around the Worlds, Around the World – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching soccer to underprivileged children all over the world.
In addition to educating and empowering, he has always been adamant on providing underserved children with the tools necessary to grow and to find success in the sport. In the past six months, Stephen has hand-delivered 870 soccer balls to children in need and worked with over 2,200 kids from 35 organizations spanning seven countries. With a broad focus, he has been able to work with kids from all different circumstances, including but not limited to: orphans, victims of sexual abuse, victims of juvenile imprisonment, children from gangs, children from drug cartels, earthquake victims, refugees, and victims of child prostitution.
Bobby Samra was chosen as Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Community MVP for his work as an educator and a soccer coach. He is a vice principal in Surrey, BC and has coached soccer for over 25 years. He first started coaching straight out of high school and fell in love with teaching and working with kids. Since then, he has coached soccer at every school he has been at and has even had former students return to help him. Most recently, Samra developed a soccer program with Central City Soccer Club and the Surrey School District for kids with mental health issues.
Bill Yoachim of Nanaimo, British Columbia was selected as Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Community MVP for co-founding “Hope and Health”, a soccer-based organization that encourages and inspires kids to overcome adversity, in partnership with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Bill works with indigenous Canadian children known as First Nations. He saw how many in the community struggled, and he co-created “Hope and Health” to provide support and inspiration for these kids to live healthier, more active lives.
Karen Wright was selected as the Portland Timbers Community MVP for founding the Yamhill Carlton Soccer Club (YCSC) in 2010, and growing the club from 14 local players to over 300 registered YCSC/OYSA club members, and 25 registered coaches. In 2014, over 4,000 hours were logged by more than 100 committed soccer volunteers of all ages for numerous charitable programs and events.