17-year-old Langley resident Dylan Patterson earns free Chevy Malibu

Integra Tire owner Peter Foreman held an essay contest to determine a fitting recipient for the car

Dylan Patterson, a 17-year-old Grade 12 Langley Fundamental graduate earned himself a 2002 Chevy Malibu – courtesy of Integra Tire.

Owner Peter Foreman had an idea to give the vehicle away to a student who penned the best essay on why they needed new wheels – a way to help graduates who didn’t get the chance to “celebrate their milestone” due to COVID-19.

Grade 12 students in the Langley School District had until June 17 to submit a 200 to 300 word essay about how they will use the vehicle to their advantage.

Patterson officially received the Chevy, a $500 deposit towards three months of basic ICBC coverage, and an a $200 Esso gift card on Friday, July 3.

“The school guidance counsellor sent it out to everyone,” he said, adding that he figured that his chances weren’t very good.

In the essay, Patterson explained that his mom, a single parent recently diagnosed with Esophagus Cancer, has lived with bi-polar disorder for the last 17 years.

“My dad was arrested when I was seven and I haven’t seen him since,” Patterson wrote in his essay. “I am a young Indigenous man living in poverty; I have nothing going for me really. But, I’m not here to tell you some sob story about how messed up my childhood was, or how I am destined to end up just another statistic that will make the upper middle class feel guilty.”

READ MORE: Langley Grade 12 students can win a free 2002 Chevy Malibu

He went on to say that because my mother is at risk of losing her car due to not being able to work, which means she has no way of going to radiation every day.

“I am going to drive that thing to Calgary and see my girlfriend; kiss her like in one of those cheesy films from the 1980s,” he added, noting in his essay that would be one of the first things he did with the Malibu.

A panel of three judges including insurance agent Tony Bhinder, dealer development manager at Integra Tire Gary Kopiak, and Cheryl Foreman – Peter’s mother – decided on Patterson out of 56 applications.

Patterson laughed because Foreman got the email wrong and so there was a delay in finding out that he had won.

He added that he hopes to get a job for the summer and use the Malibu for commuting and plans to enrol at University of the Fraser Valley and study either social work or special education.

Foreman’s Intergra Tire – Essay Submission by Dylan Patterson

Hi, My name is Dylan Patterson. I am 17 years old, I turn 18 at the end of July. I live with my mom, a single parent who was diagnosed with Esophagus Cancer in March, and has lived with Bi-Polar for the last 17 years.

My Dad was arrested when I was 7 and I haven’t seen him since. I was diagnosed with anxiety and clinical depression in December. I am a young Indigenous man living in poverty; I have nothing going for me really. But, I’m not here to tell you some sob story about how messed up my childhood was, or how I am destined to end up just another statistic that will make the upper middle class feel guilty.

I am here to tell you how I want to overcome the circumstances I am in. My whole life I have felt so stuck, bound by my circumstances, dreading each day that I woke up breathing. This past year I have decided I don’t want to end up like my parents, I want to make something of my life. Do something good for the world, rather than just wishing something would take me out of it. I started trying to get better, I opened up about my depression and am getting treatment.

I am in the midst of getting a job so I can save up this year and hopefully go to university next fall. I want to try, I want to give succeeding a shot; I want to be able to say that although I had everything stacked against me I did something with myself.

To be honest I really need a car, I am just going to be frank. I need a car because my mother is at risk of losing her car due to not being able to work, which means she has no way of going to radiation every day.

I need a car because I have felt so goddamn stuck my whole life I need something where I feel like I have the power to move, to move past all the garbage and just get free. It sounds dumb and cliche but when I drive I feel something, I feel like I have the freedom to do something other than what is just simply expected of me.

If I get this car it means that I don’t have to spend the next three months saving every penny that I have just to get a car to get to work, it means that I can save that money and use it for my tuition in the fall. If I get this car I will have just a little bit of freedom, I won’t have to rely on those around me for that freedom, it will just be mine.

You wanna know what the first thing I am going to do if I get this car? I am going to drive that thing to Calgary and see my girlfriend kiss her like in one of those cheesy films from the 80’s, and I really wanna do that.

So there, there is what I would do with this car and what it would mean to me.

The freedom both literally but also metaphorically. It would mean that I finally have something going for me that I didn’t have to fight tooth and nail to get.

Thanks for reading this 🙂 btw I wanna name it Gus cause my girlfriends cars name is gertie and I want them to be an old married couple just like me and her one day.

Thank you for reading my essay.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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