“My Dream is to to go to NASCAR’s Daytona 500 and meet Chase Elliot and other drivers!”
Tyler is 20-years-old from Statesville, NC and a senior at West Iredell High School. When you enter the halls of WIHS and talk to the students you probably won’t find anyone who doesn’t know – or more importantly, LOVE – Tyler. He is an absolute joy to everyone he meets.
Tyler lives with autism and his condition has limited his ability to participate in regular school academics or sports. It also means that Tyler will live at home with his parents through adulthood. Tyler’s mom, Tammy, tells us that others can see the effects that autism has had on his life however, to Tyler, “he has no clue about autism and all he knows is he is happy all of the time!”
Tyler’s love of sports and of people makes him a great fit as the Manager for the WIHS Girls Basketball Team. In fact, his love of sports keeps him very active with several of the school teams and athletes. A North Carolinian, born and raised, he is loyal to the Carolina Panthers and has a special place in his heart for all things NASCAR! He will tell you that Jeff Gordon is a legend and spout off stats like, “he has 93 career wins and 4 championship wins,” and that racing is “my most favorite thing I like!” Now that Gordon is enjoying retirement, Tyler can be heard cheering for Chase Elliott and would enjoy nothing more than seeing him hit the track in Daytona.
We were introduced to Tyler by students and members of the West Iredell High School Jr. Dream Team. The team unanimously selected him to be the recipient of a Dream Experience they would plan and the rest of the student body and faculty would help support. Each member of the Jr. Dream Team went on about how very special Tyler was to each of them and how he brings sunshine to everyone’s day. After Tyler was introduced to his Jr. Dream Team and they revealed that his Dream was coming true, they asked for a group picture. But Tyler’s request was a group hug which spoke volumes about his character and the attitude he embodies each day. Afterwards, he said, “this is the perfect gift!” With such a contagious and positive personality, seeing the world through his eyes would be good for everyone.
With the help of WIHS, the Jr. Dream Team and an entire community, we look forward to making a dream come true for Tyler!
Tyler’s mom, Tammy, tells us that others can see the effects that autism has had on his life however, to Tyler, “he has no clue about autism and all he knows is he is happy all of the time!”
View the Full Dream Album by Grant Maginnis Photography
In The News
Anyone inside the West Iredell High School gym Thursday morning was reminded of the positive power teenagers CAN have. The entire student body - about a thousand kids - hosted a pep rally in honor of one of their classmates, a 21-year-old high school senior. Tyler Bowie lives with autism.