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Updated: August 22, 2022 / 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022

40 Under Forty 2022: Ryan Brown

Photo | Erika Sidor Ryan Brown
Photo | Erika Sidor 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022 winners, from left, Ryan Brown, Darryl Caffee Jr., Alise Breton, and David Willens pose at Old Sturbridge Village (special thanks to Christine Freitas and James Donahue)
Ryan Brown, 34
  • Title Transportation industry analyst, systems safety and engineering division, Federal Railroad Administration grants management team support
  • Company Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, U.S. Department of Transportation, in Cambridge
  • Residence Worcester
  • Birthplace Worcester
  • College Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Click here to read about the other 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022
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While working as an Amateur Athletic Union basketball coach, Brown noticed there were lots of kids who wanted to learn how to play, but couldn’t afford to join. So he started helping them out, teaching kids the basics of basketball at no cost, on his own time.

This is what led to the launch of Go Hard or Stay Home, a program Brown created teaching kids basketball, as well as respect, confidence, teamwork, and helping others. Go Hard or Stay Home started three years ago with just five kids, eventually growing to 30 kids per session. Brown had about 1,000 kids sign up in the first year, and now he has thousands of children from Greater Worcester participating.

To Brown, it’s about more than just basketball; it’s also about showing the kids they’re not alone, and understanding where they’ve come from, what they’re doing now, and what they want to do in the future. Brown, who was born with profound hearing loss in his left ear, and severe hearing loss in his right, attended Clarke School for Hearing & Speech in Northampton for eight years before transferring to Holy Name Central Catholic Junior Senior High School in Worcester. Brown played three varsity sports and was inducted into Holy Name’s hall of fame this spring. 

What is the best location in Central Mass.? DCU Center. It was where I got to play in front of thousands for my high school for basketball, as back-to-back state finalists.

What keys to business success do most people not know? Sacrifices, commitment, and communication

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