Woodrow Adams Jr, a court officer at the Worcester District Courthouse and a Worcester Native recently was awarded the Liberty Bell Award by the Worcester County Bar Association.
The Liberty Bell Award was created in 1993 to recognize individuals who promote understanding of the law; encourage greater respect for the law and the courts; and stimulate a sense of civic responsibility among citizens.
I had a chance to speak with Adams in the Worcester District Courthouse this past week.
“It means a lot to me” Adams told me “Because it’s given to someone who is involved in the community and upholding the law and I take pride in my job and it’s an honor to receive this award.”
Officer Adams involvement in the community is with his nonprofit 508 Forever Young.
I asked him what were the origins of 508 Forever Young and what inspires him to give back.
“Me and my cousin Marcus Blakney as kids would always sit on the front porch talking about throwing block parties and cookouts for the community.”
Blakney a close cousin of Officer Adams, went to the Boys & Girls Club and they often slept over each other’s houses. Blakney would suddenly pass away in 2016.
“After Marcus passed I realized tomorrow isn’t promised and I said to myself you always talk about it so just do it. So in 2017 I did the backpack event and called it 508 Forever Young and it just stuck.”
Officer Adams turned what was pain into positivity, something he would do after 2017 when in 2021 he would lose three of his family members in a fire on Jaques Avenue in Worcester.
Officer Adams would lose his father in that fire, one of the many people that inspired him to give back.
“Growing up I had many people like my father, people at the Boys & Girls Club like Ike McBride, Tom Wilkins, and I could go down a list of people that helped me and inspired me. So I love giving back and seeing the youth being inspired by me when I help them.”
One of Officer Adams’s childhood friends Aaron Baxter from the Boys and Girls Club actually helped him become a Court Officer.
“Nothing inspired me to do it” he told me. “I actually knew nothing about the position and didn’t know anyone growing up who was a court officer. It was actually AB (The nickname he calls Baxter) that texted me about the position. He told me that he applied and he thought it would be a good idea for me to apply to. So I applied and took the exam and here I am today.”
We would end our conversation with me asking what advice he would give to today’s youth or what he would tell his younger self.
“Just work hard and be involved would be my advice.” Adams remarked.
“ If you’re always working and keeping yourself busy it keeps you out of trouble while also opening doors for you. Then when you’re done worki mg you’re too tired to get into trouble. Also Work Hard because there’s going to be those days where you are tired and just want to sit around doing nothing or playing video games but in life you gotta push through and work hard.”
Officer Adams is indeed involved and works hard for the community between Backpack Drives, Stop the Violence Events, Basketball Camps, and even setting up a GoFundMe to help a kid with college he makes an impact.
That involvement is what earned Adams the Liberty Bell Award.
This was written by DJ Harding