In 1996, Damon Parks was an innocent bystander in an attempted robbery and was paralyzed as the result of a gunshot wound. He recovered from this violent accident and is now a motivational speaker who preaches anti-violence messages in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Damon has worked closely with the Think First Program (education on spinal cord and brain injuries) and the Educating Kids on Gun Violence program. He also helps to coach the Ben Davis boys’ basketball team (his alma mater) and plays for the RHI Indiana Pacers wheelchair basketball team.
He’s now working on his degree in education and aspires to start his own nonprofit to continue motivating others in similar situations. His goals of mentoring and speaking in schools, colleges, jails, and churches to further his message of peace are why he became the second recipient of the Ralph W. Braun Spirit of Ability Award.