Antonio Dowels Tampa, FL 6,092 Votes
The reason I am nominating Antonio is because he needs a van to fulfill his dreams of finishing his B.S. in Sports Management and becoming a sports agent. His story is one of trial and triumph.
In 2007 when Antonio was a junior in high school, he had an auto accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He endured a long recovery, finished high school with honors and was accepted into the University of Florida.
This is his last semester at the University of Florida. He has been doing well in school over the past five years. He faced several medical issues his first few semesters, but he was able to raise his GPA from a 2.70 to a 3.15. Despite only being able to use his arms and having no movement in his fingers, he is very independent— he cleans, cooks, clothes himself, etc. He has been volunteering with the football and basketball teams since 2009, which has given him the opportunity to network with employees in the NFL and NBA.
After May 1st, he will be heading back down to Tampa to stay with his grandmother. He has to do an internship with a sport agency during fall 2013 to complete his degree. He also will be studying for the LSAT. He needs a vehicle as soon as possible because his friends and family work, and he cannot rely on them to take him to the agency every day. He starts his internship in August with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
HE WILL need the van by August for the internship. He has tried to get help with financing through several car companies and banks, but he has not received approval because he is unemployed and has little credit history. Having a co-signer would increase his chances of getting a loan, but his family cannot help as a co-signer at this time. Despite these obstacles, he put his hopes in contacting the executives of Nissan and Honda. He emailed dozens of people, but received little help.
I know that Antonio deserves this van. Antonio is one of the nicest, most upbeat people I know! Everywhere he goes, he inspires people to love and appreciate life. He is a true testament to never giving up on your dreams no matter what life throws at you!