Sweet Buffalo

Teen Who Spent 10 Hours Cleaning Streets After Protest Given Scholarship And Car

A New York teen who spent ten hours cleaning up the streets of his hometown after a protest has had his selfless actions rewarded with a car and a full college scholarship, Today reported.

Eighteen-year-old Antonio Gwynn Jr. from Buffalo has been overwhelmed by the response his cleanup efforts have received, and is encouraging others to follow his lead, "no matter if anyone is looking."

On June 1, Gwynn, a high school senior, saw the damage the protests had done to his hometown, and knew people would need to use those streets to get to work that morning.

Jenna James via Today

After scrolling through a series of photos on social media documenting the garbage and debris that had been left behind, he headed down to Bailey Avenue where most of the damage had been done and began cleaning.

“I just decided I wanted to go out and help clean,” he told Today.

Starting at 2 AM, Gwynn worked tirelessly to rid the street of glass and debris by himself.

Sweet Buffalo

Armed with a broom, a trash bag, and a U-Haul van he'd just used to move into his new apartment, he cleared about 10 to 15 blocks of garbage, efforts which took him around 10 hours to complete. But he didn't stop until the job was done.

“I didn’t know anyone was noticing,” he admitted. “I was just trying to clean up.”

But in fact, people *did* notice, and soon word of his good deed spread all across the internet.

Sweet Buffalo

Kimberly LeRussa, founder of the website Sweet Buffalo which shares good news stories, posted about Gwynn's cleanup efforts after speaking to multiple witnesses who had watched him work. Many said they had come out to help, only to discover there was nothing left for them to do — Gwynn had already taken care of everything.

In the story, she also revealed that a GoFundMe campaign had been established to raise money for the selfless teen. But that wouldn't be the only reward for his actions.

As the story of his cleanup continued to spread, the offers continued to come in.

Matt Block via CNN

Matt Block, a Buffalo local, told CNN he noticed Gwynn was asking for car-buying advice on Facebook, and decided to give him his prized 2004 red Mustang convertible that he rarely drives anymore.

As it turns out, Gwynn's mother, who died in 2018, also drove a red mustang, a coincidence the teen said gave him "goosebumps."

After learning of Block's gift, local businessman Bob Briceland offered Gwynn a year of free auto insurance through his agency.

The next incredible gift came from Medaille College in Buffalo.

Google Maps

Gwynn has been trying to save up some money so he can go to college after he's done high school. Now he won't have to worry about tuition, as Medaille has offered him a full scholarship.

“I was just happy and excited,” Gwynn told Today. “I plan on studying business.”

Although he didn't clean up the streets of Buffalo for recognition or rewards, Gwynn said he hopes his story encourages other people to make an effort, too.


“People should continue doing good no matter if anyone is looking,” he said.

Duane Thomas, a pastor and youth leader at Change Church where Gwynn volunteers as part of the youth organization Kappa Phi, told Today he hopes Gwynn's selflessness challenges perceptions about Black men.

“There's a lot of people that sometimes are afraid of our African American males just because of how they look,” he said. “At the end of the day it's not the color of your skin that matters. It is what's in the inside… Antonio did not [clean] for a reward. He just did it because that’s who he is.”


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