Tyres Dickson is Goodwill Industries International’s 2013 Achiever of the Year
On March 22, 1998, I was home on spring break from the University of Texas, where I was blessed enough to earn a full-ride athletic scholarship as a football player.
I fell asleep in the back of a car that my childhood friend was driving. A drunk driver ran a red light and t-boned the car I was in, sending us careening in oncoming traffic where we were hit again.
I woke up in the hospital three weeks later to find that my career was over and that I was paralyzed.
I felt that I had two options: I could quit and give up on life or I could do something positive and try to live. Well, though two-thirds of my body lacked life, I chose to live.
I spent a year-and-a-half in the hospital and a total term of eight months in rehab learning how to live in this new state, including cooking, music therapy and using my computer skills.
I then spent the next 11 years refining and fine-tuning my skills in music as a producer, also songwriting and doing instrumentations that I would copyright and sell to artists all over the nation.
Then, three days before Christmas someone broke into my house and stole all of my equipment, leaving me with another choice on which way to go in life.
But the choice was already made years previous. I kept my faith and later, a friend named Dick Taylor who had known me from UT and who made numerous hospital visits contacted me through my music company website to touch base, after a 10-year period where we’d lost contact. It was truly a blessing. I told him what had happened and, the good friend he is, he wanted to help.
Unbeknownst to me he was also friends with Goodwill Industries of Houston President and CEO Steve Lufburrow and scheduled a meeting with the three of us to discuss any possibilities there may be.
Mr. Lufburrow eagerly wanted to help me and looked to bring me to Goodwill.
I came to be in the transportation department, where I was able to use my computer and planning skills. Goodwill taught me how to translate my football skills into a job setting. It was a boost to my confidence and to my independence.
Three years later I am currently an auto donor coordinator and dispatcher with the ultimate respect for Goodwill.
After my accident and the break-in, I was somewhat leery of the character of man. Goodwill made me realize there were still people in the world that truly cared about helping others.
With the help of Goodwill, I am now able to fully accept God’s will for my life and future. I hope to help pay it forward by being an inspiration for others through telling my story to whoever will listen.