It wasn’t all bad
The lights are back on in many Puerto Rican homes, thanks to one high school student. Salvador Gómez Colón, 15, sprang into action after Hurricane Maria smashed into the island last fall, launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for portable solar lamps. While his hometown of San Juan has regained sporadic power, many residents in hard-hit rural areas still have no light. So Colon began spending his weekends distributing the lamps to the island’s small villages, using the $125,000 he raised online. In four months, he has helped brighten 840 homes. “This experience,” Salvador says, “has taught me to be grateful for what I have.”
Glenn Quillin is still flying high at the age of 102. The California grandfather has been enjoying aerial adventures since 1931, when he and a pilot had to eject from an airplane with a dead engine. He marked his centenary with a tandem skydive; now, two years later, he has set the Guinness World Record for the oldest person to ride a zip line, speeding through a San Diego valley at 50 mph. And for 103? Quillin is hoping for a new record-setting skydive. “I have my eye on that airplane,” he says.
Danny Lilya can’t walk—yet he’s still seen as the MVP on his high school football team. The 16-year-old Minnesotan was born paralyzed from the waist down but has been boosting the Moose Lake Rebels’ score sheet since his sophomore year. When his team is up for a field goal, the fearless Lilya crouches down, catches the snap, and holds the football in place for his team’s kicker. Many field goals later, he’s become an integral part of the football powerhouse. “I’ve always been dreaming of being a Rebel football player since I was in kindergarten,” says Lilya. “Finally having that dream come true was amazing.”
Getty, Marta Michelle Colon & SolarSister.org ■