December 3, 2021

Lydian Academy Student Named an Honoree for the 2021 Barron Prize

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Seventeen-year-old Shay Patel, a Lydian Academy student from Atherton, California, has been…

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Seventeen-year-old Shay Patel, a Lydian Academy student from Atherton, California, has been named an honoree of the 2021 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. The Barron Prize celebrates young leaders who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment.

Shay was chosen for his incredible work helping underserved youth. He founded Alley-Oop Kids to provide athletic equipment and positive sports experiences to kids in the U.S. and around the world.

Shay was inspired to start his program at just 11 years old after noticing that basketball players at his local Boys & Girls Club didn’t have the gear they needed. He resolved to help, raising $6,000 to purchase new shoes, uniforms, and balls for all 50 players.

Shay attends Lydian Academy, a one-of-a-kind Silicon Valley-based school that encourages students to identify and harness their unique strengths and abilities.

“Shay’s incredible work and dedication are an inspiration to our staff and parents alike,” says Jonathan Frecceri, Lydian Academy CEO. “Everyone at Lydian Academy is extremely proud of Shay. His unwavering commitment to helping others is a testament to our mission of helping students grow into global-minded citizens.”

In six years, Shay’s nonprofit has raised more than $50,000 and impacted over 20,000 kids globally. He has built partnerships with the local school district, nonprofits, schools in India, and the NBA.

During the pandemic, Shay launched Alley-Oop App to connect people with extra sports gear (and gently used laptops for virtual schooling) with those who needed it.

“I’ve learned that real growth happens outside of one’s comfort zone—and usually after more ‘noes’ than ‘yeses,'” says Shay. “Though I’ve impacted lots of kids, I won’t be satisfied until all children have the opportunity to play sports and get an education.”

Each year just 25 young people—15 top winners and 10 honorees—are chosen for the Barron Prize. In 2021, Shay was one of the few chosen from more than 700 applicants across the United States and Canada.

About Lydian Academy

Lydian Academy is a one-of-a-kind school serving middle and high school students in Silicon Valley. Lydian’s mission is to develop young people with active and creative minds by nurturing their innate joys of learning through authentic academic success.

Lydian provides an innovative learning approach that works for a broad range of learners. Students develop a strong sense of purpose, placing them on a path to becoming part of a responsible global citizenry. At Lydian, students are provided with the space to develop academically, mentally, and emotionally. To learn more about Lydian Academy, visit



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