Platforms and spinning displays of the newest car models and emerging auto technology filled the Los Angeles Convention center at the 111th annual L.A. Auto Show. This year’s Hyundai display drew thousands of visitors including The Los Angeles Sentinel and Kyle Kyson-Clark, the winner of the Hyundai and Taste of Soul 2018 “Reimagine Everything” car contest.

 

Zafar Brooks, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity & Inclusion at Hyundai Motor America, led the auto show giveaway last Thursday, where Clark’s brand-new Kona awaited him, complete with a big red bow on top.

 

“The person that is going to win that car today is going to drive off with the keys to his or her brand-new car and drive right out,” said Brooks.

 

Hyundai has been a partner with the Los Angeles Sentinel and Taste of Soul for three years and this is the second year that it has hosted the car giveaway at the auto show. The car company, based in Seoul, South Korea is the sixth largest in the world, and has its US headquarters in Orange County.

 

“At Hyundai, as the chief diversity officer, one of my priorities is to show our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and having such a rich and diverse history as an Asian car company, partnering with the Taste of Soul and the Los Angeles Sentinel was just the right thing for us,” said Brooks. “We believe in our diversity statement that we are stronger together, that’s why Taste of Soul is so special.”

 

The Bakewell Company Chairman/CEO and Founder/Creator of Taste of Soul Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. joined Zafar Brooks in congratulating Clark not only for winning the car, but for his continued work in the community.

 

“We have chosen a magnificent winner of this great car that’s going to be given away this morning,” said Bakewell, Sr. “We have the right partner in Hyundai. They have done an amazing job partnering with Taste of Soul and making the community know that they care about them.”

 

Clark’s dedication to education and childhood development stood out amongst more than 200 video submissions. After six rounds of reviews and in-person interviews, the voting committee and Hyundai agreed that Clark’s philanthropic work demonstrated how he “makes L.A. a better place.”

 

When Clark got the call from Hyundai, he was in a classroom and had to run out to take the call in the hallway.

 

“In that moment, I saw everything I’ve been through since I came to LA. I slept on couches I slept on floors, I slept in my car,” said Clark. “With the help of Taste of Soul, L.A. Sentinel, The Bakewell Company and Hyundai, you guys are not only helping me, because it’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than my dreams, it’s for me to touch the lives of kids. That’s what I do.”

 

A tearful Clark was joined by his closest friends and even by his mom in Florida, who surprised him with a video message on the Hyundai screen.

 

“Life will make your crooked path straight,” said Clark. “Keep on driving through, keep on doing what you are supposed to do because God will align your life to be so easy.” 

Category: Cover Stories


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