JJ Watt lives by the motto Dream Big Work Hard and encourages others to do the same. In January, the JJ Watt Foundation asked people to nominate individuals who exemplify his motto and exhibit the character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic and perseverance. We received nearly 140 inspiring nominations about the wonderful nominees, all with remarkable stories.  We are excited to honor and recognize Victoria, Hannah and Adan at the 2019 JJ Watt Foundation Charity Classic for dreaming big and working hard every day!

Victoria De La Garza

Victoria is a 21-year-old entrepreneur who knits beanie hats, Vics Knitz, and donates them to local charities. In high school, Victoria was a Special Olympics athlete and the first female pentathlete to compete at her school in Dickinson. As a congenital heart disease survivor, she continues to participate in athletic events. Recently, Victoria enrolled in a college program for students who have disabilities with the goal of becoming a teacher’s aide. She does not let her learning disability stop her, but works hard to be an example to her peers. She is living out what it means to dream big and work hard. In addition to attending classes, Victoria volunteers with  the Special Olympics, Autism groups, American Heart Association and others. Victoria is dedicated to giving back to others and “filling the world with love, one knit at a time.” We are touched by her story and inspired by the way she lives her life.

Hannah Wilson

In 7th grade, Hannah lost her father while he was serving in the line of duty with the military. During that time, she was a pillar of strength for her mother who wrote, “She probably doesn’t know that she also saved my life when I had no idea how we could continue.” Hannah, now a 2nd Lieutenant with the U.S. Army, dedicates her life to serving others and our country. For example, after field training in Virginia, where she slept on the ground that was covered by  snow, she spent days laying wreaths for Wreaths across America in Arlington National Cemetery. One month after her marriage in May 2018, she left for additional training and was welcomed home in February 2019. We thank Hannah and her family for all they have done for our country.

Adan Lewis

Adan is 14-year-old who was diagnosed with a rare condition called Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome, which required him to have a feeding tube placed for the majority of his 7th grade school year. He has also been dealing with chronic Staph Sinusitis throughout the entire year. Despite these challenges, Adan was determined to go to school, keep his grade ‘A’ average and take on an advanced Algebra class. Even though he couldn’t run track or play with his baseball team, he cheered them on from the bench. While he still struggles with his health, he continues to build his physical strength, earning himself a spot on his school’s basketball A-team and excelling in track. Adan is also involved in the robotics team, Scouts, band and church. On top of that, he supports his mother who has lupus and does so with a positive attitude. We are impressed with Adan’s accomplishments and perseverance!