News & Politics

Buffalo, NY Teen Lauded For Cleaning up After Riots

AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa

A Buffalo, N.Y., teenager who spent 10 hours cleaning up after the riots is being recognized around the country for his service.

Antonio Gwynn Jr. took it upon himself last week to spend 10 hours sweeping up broken glass and removing garbage from the streets strewn by rioters. Gwynn has already gotten a scholarship offer from a local college, a 2004 Ford Mustang from an admirer, and a job offer from the mayor.

ABC News:

Mayor Byron Brown offered him a job in the city’s buildings department.

“I’m actually pretty excited because I didn’t have an actual plan, but now this is helping me put more of my life ahead,” Gwynn told reporters after being recognized at a city ceremony.

After a night of unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Gwynn set about cleaning up, hours before others arrived with the same intention.

“Antonio, without anyone asking him to do it, without anyone telling him to do it, got out after two o’clock in the morning and spent over 10 hours cleaning up Bailey Avenue, in his neighborhood,” Brown said.

It’s stories like this, amid the chaos, name-calling, and hate that give me a sliver of hope for the future. Gwynn is a black teenager who went out at 2:00 a.m. while the fires were still burning to do what he could to help his community. Where some sought to destroy, he wanted to build.

It turns out, Gwynn did it because it was something his late mother would have done.

ABC4:

“The car he sent me a picture of was the same exact car that my mom first had got me. And, it’s the same color, the same everything,” Gwynn said.

Then comes in Bob Briceland from Briceland insurance agency.

They will be covering Antonio’s insurance for one year.

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

The news that he was getting a full scholarship to Medaille College in Buffalo made him cry.

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

His original plan was to go to a trade school and save up for college.

Now, he can complete that goal right away by studying business and studying mechanics on the side.

This way, one day, he can start his own repair shop.

“I always wanted to be someone that can help everyone with their car problems. This is a great opportunity I have right in front of me,” Gwynn said.

Yes, he’s for real. There are still people like this in America. And it’s good to be reminded of that in times like this.

She Spent Years Building Her Business. Looters Cleaned It Out in Minutes. Now She’s Working to Rebuild.