Spirit of Central Illinois: Volunteer juggles firefighting, college

FINDLAY, Ill. (WAND) — If you look up service in the dictionary, chances are a picture of Tyus Brooks is nearby.

"I have a passion to help people," Brooks said. "Volunteering came natural to me."

He's just 19, but he's spent as much time giving back as anyone. Brooks works as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, saving lives in Findlay and surrounding rural communities. He also plays taps at military funerals and volunteers at the local American Legion.

"It just feels good to know I have the capability to make somebody's day a lot better," Brooks said.

Oh...and he's also a full-time college student.

"I try to keep a full plate," he said. "It keeps me out of trouble."

That full plate does more than keep him out of trouble; it makes a difference. It's also why Brooks embodies the Spirit of Central Illinois, writing his story of service while allowing others to continue writing theirs.

And as for how he'd like that story to be remembered?

"[I want people to know I] made a difference," Brooks said. "[I] made a positive impact...that's all anybody could really ask for."

If you know someone who is making a difference in his/her community, nominate them for the Spirit of Central Illinois award by emailing Deron Molen (dmolen@wandtv.com) or clicking here.