When it comes to being inspirational, our Brickies are pros! However, some of our Brickies inspiration extends beyond the city of Hobart and into the hearts of other communities in Northwest Indiana.
Joseph Sparks, a junior here at Hobart, has shown unlimited strength, courage, bravery, optimism and generosity. He is shining bright and spreading the love! Joey was diagnosed last year with lymphoma and underwent some major treatments. He was able to walk away from it all, cancer free, this past February! This journey and experience has given him the opportunity to see the community and world in a different way than most teenagers. With this new vision and positive future Joey entered contests through the Ford Company and was able to raise $6000 for HHS Football with the Drive4URSchool program. Joey also entered a video essay contest through the Ford Company and was one of the top 3 winners! He received a check for $1000 and naturally did what most people would not have done, he gave it to a football program, not Hobart's but the West Side Cougars. West Side is a school that may not have the advantages our football booster club has, but they have more compassion and drive than most high schools around here. When West Side heard about Joey being diagnosed last year, just 2 weeks after they played him, they did what was natural to them. They supported another football player in Northwest Indiana. With shout outs to Joey on Facebook and in text messages from West Side football players, Joey stayed positive. Knowing there was a whole football team, that he hardly knew, supporting him gave him the strength to fight harder and win the battle.
A year later, there Joey was standing in front of West Side Cougars, with Mr. Turley and the Heurings from Ford presenting them with the $1000 check that he won from the essay contest. But it gets so much better, the Ford Company was so touched by Joey's actions that they too joined in and gave West Side brand new helmets and shoulder pads! Words cannot express the impact that this had on West Side, Hobart and the entire community of Northwest Indiana. The School City of Hobart is proud to have you as a Brickie, Joey. Your generosity, bravery and inspiration will influence us all for years. Thank you.
Joey's Essay that he submitted to the Ford Company contest
Newspaper Articles of Joey's journey
Hobart football team walks for teammate with lymphoma - October 6, 2013
Hobart Football team rallies around fellow teammate - October 28, 2013
Hobart teen pays it forward for West Side football team - October 23, 2014
Faith Sparks drive to help out West Side's football program - October 23, 2014
West Side surprised with gifts - October 23, 2014
Lorrie Woycik Commentary - October 31, 2014
Watch Ford's Commercial for Joey!
This photo gallery has images from the team supporting Joey on their walk in 2013 to Joey giving West Side a great surprise.