Teen who spent 10 hours cleaning up after a protest rewarded with car, college scholarship

Picture of man and teen standing in front of red Mustang

Antonio Gwynn Jr., left, is now the owner of a 2004 Mustang after Matt Block decided to give him the car as a reward for Gwynn’s work cleaning up after protests in Buffalo, New York.
Credit: Matt Block

BUFFALO, N.Y. — When Antonio Gwynn Jr. saw the damage from protests in his hometown of Buffalo, he grabbed a broom, bought some trash bags and started cleaning the streets by himself.

He started at 2 a.m. on Monday and did not stop cleaning for the next 10 hours. When an organized group of neighbors arrived later that morning to start clearing the damage, they found that Gwynn had already done most of the work.

Gwynn is an 18-year-old high school senior. He said he saw on the local news that Bailey Avenue was covered in glass and garbage. He knew people needed to use that street to get to work in the morning.

When word spread of how Gwynn single-handedly took action, his community responded.

Matt Block saw Gwynn’s story on the news and decided to give him his prized 2004 red Mustang convertible. Block, 27, told CNN the car is one he wanted since he was a child, but these days, he doesn’t use it much. He said saw Gwynn ask for some car buying advice on Facebook, and Matt decided to offer up his sports car.

It turns out that gift has more meaning than Block ever imagined. Gwynn’s mother, who died in 2018, also drove a red Mustang. When he realized the coincidence, Gwynn says that he was so shocked he “didn’t have any words,” and Block says it gave him “goosebumps.”

Local businessman Bob Briceland learned of Block’s gift, and he decided to extend a year of free auto insurance coverage through his insurance agency.

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

After high school, Gwynn had planned to go to trade school while saving up to go to college. After hearing Gwynn’s story, Medaille College in Buffalo offered him a full scholarship.

He now plans to study business starting this fall. One of his many career goals is to open a cleaning business.

This is the first time Gwynn received this type of recognition for his good deeds, but this is not the first time he stepped up to help others. He is a member of Kappa Phi, through which he enjoys doing community service. He also helps out at churches.

“I appreciate everything everyone is doing for me,” Gwynn said.

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