Richard Winfrey Aurora, IL 750 Votes
Just two months shy of his high school graduation, Richard “Tre” Winfrey was a victim of a drive by shooting on March 2, 2007 while driving in his car with his brother enjoying the day in his hometown. He was left critically injured which left him paralyzed from the neck down. Even though this was a tragic event, he has never complained nor has it kept him from moving forward. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” This is just what he did as he took the first step to recovering from his injury while undergoing treatment at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL. During his treatment, he completed his high school studies. He attended his high school prom on May 12, 2007. On May 25, 2007, he was wheeled across the stage by one of his good friends and received his high school diploma. Prior to his being injured, he was a member of his high school golf team, band, and choir. After graduating high school, he attended Elgin Community College in Elgin, IL for one year and is now attending Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL.
He is currently being cared for by his single parent mother. She is unable to work due to his needing twenty-four hour care which is shared by sixteen hours a day with registered nursing. His mother takes him to college and spends tireless hours making sure that he lives a life as normal as possible. They are faced with numerous financial hardships due to not having the finances to keep things current.
The van that she transports Tre in is on its last miles and mechanical functioning which could stop working any day now. Tre is in need of a van to get to scheduled doctor appointments, continue his education, etc. After completing his college studies, it is his goal to become a math teacher. It is also his goal to become a motivational speaker. While visiting with him he shared the following with me, “In order to progress you have to struggle. No struggle, no progress. No obstacles can stop you no matter what the circumstances are if you put your mind to it. I want to make a difference and give back.” (Charlene Carter, family friend)