Teen rewarded with car and college scholarship for spending 10 hours cleaning up after protest

Justin Chan

A New York teenager who graciously spent 10 hours overnight cleaning up after a protest in Buffalo was rewarded with a car and college scholarship, WKBW reports.

On June 1, Antonio Gwynn Jr., an 18-year-old senior at Hutchinson Central Technical High School, left his home with a broom at 2 a.m. so he could clean the streets. Gwynn said he felt compelled to do so after watching Facebook Live streams of police activity on Bailey Avenue, one of the streets where the protest had taken place.

“I went [and] bought some trash bags grabbed my broom and my dustpan and I just started here,” he recalled. “It was just me by myself. I just started riding up and down Bailey to see where stuff was destroyed so I can clean it up.”

When another local resident, Kalah Bishop, and a group she organized dropped by to help clean up at 10 a.m., much of the work had already been done, the station notes.

“To know that an 18-year-old had it in his heart to come out here at two in the morning and clean up — and, to be honest, he kind of risked his life to do it — that’s amazing,” Bishop told WKBW.

As the station points out, news of Gwynn’s good deed spread quickly. Several days later, Matt Block, another resident, caught wind of the teenager’s generous act and decided to gift the high school student his 2004 Ford Mustang as a way of saying thank you.

“I couldn’t come to grips with selling it and this was a good way for me to get rid of it and know someone that gets it is going to appreciate it,” Block said.

The car also just so happened to be the same exact model and color that Gwynn’s mother, who passed away in 2018, had first gotten the teenager, Gwynn said. Its insurance will be covered for a year by the Briceland Insurance Agency, Bob Briceland added.

“I just felt compelled to help him out,” Briceland said. “We just need to get together our whole city and show people how there’s so many good people here.”

And that’s not all. Gwynn, who had hoped to attend college in the fall, also learned that he was given a full scholarship to Medaille College.

“I literally stopped, pulled over and started crying,” the teenager said. “So did my great aunt. My little cousin did also.”

Despite all of these blessings, Gwynn maintained that he will continue to help when he can.

“I’ve been mainly been helping all my family that has been there for me, like my great aunt,” he told WKBW. “I spoiled her. I helped pay her rent and I got her the same phone I have.”

If you enjoyed this story, you might want to read about this teenager who started a cookie business to give his family a fresh start.

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