Shrewsbury Resident & Worcester Academy Student-Athlete T.J. Power Earns Friendly House A $10K Gatorade Spotlight Grant

WORCESTER, Mass. (July 11, 2022) — Shrewsbury resident and Worcester Academy student-athlete T.J. Power has earned The Friendly House Neighborhood Center of Worcester a $10,000 Gatorade grant to help underserved and under resourced families.
T.J., who won Gatorade’s 2022 Massachusetts Basketball Player of the Year award, had submitted a short video to Gatorade to be considered for one of its 12 Play It Forward Spotlight Grants of $10,000 each.
The grant gave T.J., who will be a senior this fall, the chance to award funds to The Friendly House so it can continue helping young athletes enjoy the benefit of sports.
A multi-service neighborhood center, The Friendly House provides nearly 4,000 young people with creative and recreational programming.
“As with all Gatorade Player of the Year award winners, T.J. Power has demonstrated exemplary character,” said Kara Darling, on behalf of Gatorade Player of the Year. “His short video illustrated the role that Worcester Academy has had in fostering that character. Our vision is that organizations like Worcester Academy continue to positively impact the kids of the future.”
Like many Worcester Academy students, T.J. has excelled both on and off the field while also embracing the Academy's Core Values: Honor, Respect, Community, Personal Growth, and Challenge. He has built camaraderie, developed strategies for competition, and learned valuable lessons about achieving goals through Worcester Academy's athletic program.
Earlier this year, T.J. also won Worcester Academy’s coveted Bernon Junior Service Award. The Bernon Award recognized his outstanding community service and enables him to give a check of $7,500 to a charity of his choosing. T.J. chose A Shot For Life, which supports health and cancer research initiatives.
The Bernon Junior Service Award was established by Alan Bernon ’72 who wanted to recognize a member of the Academy’s Junior Class who shares a passion for philanthropy and for giving back and has provided exceptional community service over and above those hours required by WA.
The Gatorade Player of the Year athletic award program annually recognizes student-athletes, not only for outstanding athletic excellence, but also for having high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character in various sports. The Gatorade Player of the Year award is the most prestigious award in high school sports. In existence for more than 35 years, past winners include Peyton Manning, Sydney McLaughlin, Mallory Pugh, Karl-Anthony Towns, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, and many other sports icons.
Founded in 1834, Worcester Academy is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls in grades 6 to 12 (and postgraduates). Located in the thriving city of Worcester, the Academy provides an exceptional and time-befitting educational experience that fosters personal growth, nurtures a sense of belonging and well-being, and develops intellect and understanding through authentic community engagement and real-world experiences. Students, who are joyful and curious, define what it means to “Achieve the Honorable” and are equipped to honorably impact the world wherever they go.
Worcester Academy’s investment in its historic Worcester campus recently has increased its impact as a partner in the city of Worcester’s renaissance, which is reinvigorating many quarters of the city, including the Canal District, just a short walk from WA. The Canal District is home to Polar Park and the Triple A Red Sox. Worcester Academy is the official independent school partner of the Worcester Red Sox, known locally as the WooSox. The Academy is also a founding tenant of nearby Fidelity Worcester Ice Center, the home ice for Worcester Academy’s boys and girls ice hockey programs.
Community Service is a part of every student’s experience at Worcester Academy, and by graduation, Hilltoppers must have completed a total of 60 hours of service (postgraduate students must complete 15 hours of service). Collectively, Hilltoppers contribute thousands of hours each year in the greater Worcester community and beyond. They mentor and teach, work countless hours in hospitals and shelters, host benefit concerts, organize food and clothing drives, and make an impact.
The following is a list of some of the many community partners of Worcester Academy and initiatives aimed at supporting its neighborhood and city.
Afternoon Tunes Program, the George I. Alden Trust, The Campbell Fund for Community Service, the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation, Grafton Street School, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, the George F. & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, MetroWest/Greater Worcester Habitat for Humanity, St. John's Church, The Mildred H. McEvoy Foundation, the Phyllis W. McGillicuddy Charitable Trust, the William J. McKee Jr. Charitable Foundation (WA Class of 1927), the Paul Morano Sr. Fund for Community Enrichment, the Nativity School, the WA Worcester Scholars Program, The Progin Foundation, Somaliland Abaarso Tech Scholarships, the WA Summer Scholars Program, WA Summer Camp Program Scholarships, Union Hill School Building Bridges Diversity Program, Union Hill School Student Tutoring, Vernon Street School, Worcester Community Fridge Project, the city of Worcester, and Worcester Red Sox.
Worcester Academy exists to instill in its students the desire to learn throughout life, to engage passionately with the world around them, and to be honorable persons of strong and resourceful character. The Academy sees its Core Values as essential to the mission of the Academy and as testimony of its beliefs and commitments.

For information, contact Neil Isakson, director of external communications, at 508-459-6918, or email