Lisa Borges, TB12 Foundation

Lisa Borges

The TB12 Method

Editors’ Note

In addition to her role with the TB12 Foundation, Lisa Borges is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Anchor Foundation Consulting, LLC. She is on the faculty of the Sports and Entertainment Impact Certificate Program, a virtual training program at the intersection of sports, entertainment and philanthropy. Borges has also served as the Interim Executive Director of the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care and spent more than 18 years as the Executive Director of the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. On a volunteer basis, she is the Founder of the Celebrity and Athlete Foundation Forum. Additionally, Borges serves on the Advisory Board and is a mentor and guest speaker at UMass Boston’s Sport Leadership and Administration Program and is a Board Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for Central and Western Massachusetts. While with the Flutie Foundation, she also served as an Executive Committee Member for Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts and a Board Member of the Alexis Miranda Foundation. Borges earned a BA degree in political science from Westfield State University, a certificate in nonprofit/public/organizational management from Clark University, and a JD from New England Law.

Foundation Brief

Founded in 2015 by seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady, the TB12 Foundation (tb12foundation.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to maximizing the health, well-being, and athletic potential of underserved athletes and service members by providing free access to health and wellness resources that support preparation, performance, and recovery – empowering people who are at-risk due to economic or health-related obstacles to reach their performance and life goals. Through its services, the Foundation aims to educate and help athletes improve longevity, prevent injury, and stay on the field, court, track, or course doing what they love, better and for longer.

Tom Brady with the Pinellas Education Foundation

Tom Brady with the Pinellas Education Foundation

Will you highlight the history of the TB12 Foundation and how you define its mission?

Tom Brady and Alex Guerrero created the TB12 Foundation in 2015 to help bring the groundbreaking TB12 approach to people who were most in need and not able to access TB12’s services due to their financial situation. A scholarship program was developed and has helped hundreds of underprivileged athletes recover from injury, improve longevity, and prevent further injury with approximately 9,500 treatment sessions donated. Since that time, the definition of athlete has expanded from high school and college athletes to tactical athletes including active and retired service members as well as individuals who have experienced a tragic event. The Foundation’s goal is to help all (amateur) athletes maximize their health and potential by educating them on the five pillars of the TB12 Method and providing free resources to improve longevity, prevent injury, and do what they love, better and for longer.

TB12 Brockton Program Foxboro

TB12 Brockton Program Foxboro

Will you provide an overview of the work of the TB12 Foundation and its initiatives?

In addition to the scholarship program which provides eligible recipients the full TB12 experience at no cost, the Foundation has established a number of community partnerships where TB12 Centers are currently located including Massachusetts and Florida. As an example, we’ve partnered with two public school districts where groups of 12 student-athletes from each school visit our TB12 Sports Centers in Boston and Foxboro, Massachusetts every month. The students are provided pliability work with our Body Coaches, functional training and prehab exercises, and mentorship aimed at helping them be the best possible versions of themselves on and off the field. We’re proud to have this opportunity to deepen our commitment to these underserved athletes in our communities.

We have also established community partnerships in the Tampa area with the Pinellas County Schools, Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Tampa PAL, and Operation Healing Forces to support thousands of students, athletes, and special operation forces warriors.

Furthermore, the TB12 Body Coaches run sessions on functional strength and conditioning, cognitive health, pliability with active warm-ups, and provide group workouts and educational talks on nutrition and hydration to hundreds of teens and coaches throughout the year.

“With the TB12 Foundation, we’re committed to extending access to innovative health and wellness resources for those who would otherwise be unable to obtain access without financial assistance. Our goal is to educate all athletes and individuals who want to stay active so they can continue doing what they love for as long as they want.”

Tom Brady

How did the TB12 Foundation adapt the way it works to address the challenges caused by the pandemic?

As a result of the pandemic, TB12’s facilities were forced to close their doors to ensure the safety of all team members and clients. However, we took the opportunity to make beneficial changes in the organization and focus on giving back to our local community. The Foundation started with the frontline healthcare workers who were battling the pandemic in hospitals nationwide. We provided over 200 healthcare workers access to free virtual health and wellness consultations with TB12 Body Coaches, working one-on-one to take a more holistic approach for caring for their minds and bodies during this difficult time. In addition, virtual sessions have been added as an option for Foundation clients due to the global pandemic.

The TB12 Foundation also took the opportunity to get even more involved in our community and to become change-makers in a space we have control over. Racial inequality and social justice came to the forefront of the national conversation in June 2020, and the TB12 Foundation chose to use this inflection point in the country as an opportunity to work towards real advancement in the community.

Beginning with Foxboro, the team was introduced to a community organizer and activist in Brockton, Massachusetts. Conversations ensued between the leaders in the community and the TB12 team, as the group charted a path towards new initiatives aimed at directly impacting the underserved and at-risk people of color in Brockton. While COVID-19 restrictions delayed the start of the program by a few months, the students were able to begin sessions in early November 2020 and continue to come in once a month throughout the school year. It was a great bonding experience for many of the students who felt isolated during the pandemic and lost without their sport or teammates around.

How critical are metrics to measure the impact of the TB12 Foundation’s work?

Metrics play a very important role as our work in the community continues to expand. Since the Foundation was revitalized in 2020, the goal has been to increase the number of people we serve through additional awareness and outreach in new communities. We use a number of evaluation tools to measure our impact including pre- and post-surveys for program participants as well as applications, progress and impact reports for all scholarship recipients. In addition, we measure our level of success through the many testimonials we receive from individuals whose lives have been changed by their commitment to health and wellness through the TB12 method.

TB12 Foundation

Will you discuss Tom’s passion and commitment for the work of the Foundation and how deeply engaged he is in its efforts?

Both Tom and Alex are very passionate about sharing their belief that everyone can benefit from a smarter, more holistic approach to health and wellness. Their goal is to teach as many people as they can that the healthy daily habits learned from the TB12 Method will help people who want to stay active do what they love, better and for longer. The earlier student athletes understand this, the more success they will have. The community partnerships formed by the Foundation give Tom and Alex an opportunity to share this message with at-risk youth as well as service members who may have suffered a chronic injury and want to stay healthy and active for their family. Tom takes the opportunity whenever he can to speak to the students participating in our programs and encourages them to keep going and let them know their hard work will pay off.

Did you always know that you had a passion for this type of work and what makes the work so special for you?

Like many working in the nonprofit community, I fell into this line of work over 20 years ago by chance. I always loved watching sports growing up, especially football, and went to law school because I had aspirations of being a sports lawyer. While working for a sports marketing firm in Boston, I connected with Doug and Laurie Flutie who started a foundation in honor of their son who was diagnosed with autism. I ended up managing their Foundation for 18 years and developed a passion to help individuals and their families live life to the fullest despite the many setbacks we often face. This has transferred to my work with the TB12 Foundation and my interest in educating people of all ages on how to take care of their body from a holistic approach. Seeing the success stories of our scholarship recipients firsthand has truly been an amazing experience and gives me an opportunity to educate others on the importance of staying healthy.

What are your priorities for the TB12 Foundation as you look to the future?

As TB12 Sports grows and expands geographically, the Foundation will have an opportunity to engage partners that align with our mission in a growing number of communities. We want to reach as many people as possible and take the lead on educating students at a young age about the importance of health and wellness from an innovative and holistic approach. As Tom will tell you, it’s a lifelong journey of healthy daily habits. The principles of the TB12 Method are not necessarily all new concepts but when combined, can transform lives and maximize the potential of athletes both on and off the field.