Preston Bowman, a recent eighth grade graduate from Grand Avenue Middle School, submitted to a video contest during the COVID-19 quarantine to help out someone in need and won.
The company, V!ng.com, had raised $250,000 and was seeking teens to create a video explaining who they would choose to gift $1,000 in tax free money to. Bowman first learned about the contest via Instagram and quickly began filming.
Bowman chose his school bus driver, Augustine Val, and V!ing.com provided the monetary award.
“I knew he was out of work due to COVID closures and might be facing financial hardships, like many other adults who were in the same situation,” he explained. “He is such an amazing person and doesn’t deserve to struggle.”
On June 22, he surprised the driver with a check and speech. Val thought he is returning to the school for a brief end of school year farewell.
Val, who has been a bus driver for 15 years, said this is the first time anything like this has ever happened to him.
“My good buddy Preston, you do this for me?” Val asked in disbelief as the check was presented. “I have no words to express how much I appreciate this.”
Val added that he hopes to return to work soon because the children ‘keep him going.’
“For a kid to take this all upon himself is amazing and such a good example of the kind of students we have here,” added Principal Carlo Conte.