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Antonio Dowels

Riverview, FL

Entry Photo for Antonio Dowels - Riverview, FL

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” Many people quote that statement, but I am actually living it out. About seven years ago, my life was almost perfect. During my junior year in high school, I was in the Top Ten Percent in my class; I volunteered in many extracurricular activities; I worked after school activities and was able to buy a car; I was being recruited to play college football. My dream to play college football and, ultimately, in the NFL seemed to be coming to fruition. However, I fell asleep behind the wheel of a car and crashed into a semi-truck, resulting in my paralysis, not being able to move my fingers or lower extremities. After learning to accomplish daily activities efficiently, I went back to high school, graduated, and was accepted to attend the University of Florida, where I began volunteering with the Gator football and women’s basketball teams for four years. There were many obstacles that I overcame, such as constant fatigue, bladder infections, and falls. Despite my disability and overwhelming schedule, I graduated last December with a 3.15 GPA.

Currently, I waiting to receive acceptance from one of several law schools in Miami and California that I applied to. My desire is be a sports lawyer because I am interested in the legal aspects involved in sports and driven to uphold justice, fairness and equality in the sports industry.

The pursuit of my education and profession are avenues to other goals and objectives. I currently help my church, Holy Outreach for Christ, feed the homeless, mentor newly disabled children for Tampa General Hospital, and speak at schools and churches about overcoming obstacles. Charity works are essential parts of my future plans. I want to start an organization for the underprivileged kids, to provide resources and motivate them to get an education so that they could be productive members in society. Moreover, I also want to help the homeless by opening a rehab center and providing them with resources to make their lives better.

Pursuing my goals can’t be attained simply. I currently don’t have and can’t afford a vehicle, so can’t go to as many as I would like to. Winning a van would truly allow me to be more independent, as I will be able to travel to law school, stores, events, and speaking engagements. It would be such a blessing! Thanks!