Ethics Heroes: Andy Mitchell, Samee Dowlatshahi, And Friends


Rockwall, Texas resident Andy Mitchell posted a photo on Facebook of himself and Justin Korva, a young stranger whom Mitchell had picked up and driven to his job after seeing him walking to work in his work uniform  in 90 degree weather. He was stunned and impressed to learn that Korva walks three miles each way to his low-paying job at Taco Casa, a fast food restaurant,

“To all the people that say they want to work but can’t find a job or don’t have a vehicle all I can say is you don’t want it bad enough!” Mitchell wrote on the Facebook post. Mitchell then used his post as a springboard to raise money to buy a car for Korva, who is 20.  It took less than 30 hours to raise $5,500. 

Samee Dowlatshahi, the owner of a pizza restaurant who had set up a donation box for Korva’s transportation inside his establishment,  contacted a friend at a local Toyota dealership. The friend told his boss about Korva, and persuaded the dealership to drop the price of a white 2004 Toyota Camry. This allowed Mitchell’s group to buy the car, pay Korva’s insurance for a year, and finance two years’ worth of oil changes along with a $500 gas card.

“Are you serious?” Korva said as Mitchell handed him the keys.

Dowlatshahi said,, “We just want you to know, seriously, this community, nothing we love better than to have someone who works hard. We take a lot of pride in that. It’s so hot out here, I can’t believe you walk even one mile in this heat.”

There is hope.

15 thoughts on “Ethics Heroes: Andy Mitchell, Samee Dowlatshahi, And Friends

  1. All I read is an article about white supremacists insufficiently repaying their cultural debt while simultaneously acting on their systemic advantages to feel better about their own intersectional privileges in an act of grandstanding self-righteousness.

    • Oops, sorry I was trapped in professor’s body there for a second.

      This is a great story!

      Though not nearly as impactful as an episode from my college years when I drove between College Station and San Antonio. I had to stop at a small town to fill up my car. It was after sun-down and about 40 degrees outside and was raining cats and dogs. A black guy about my age with a bag of groceries was standing outside and looking into the rain with dread.

      We made eye contact and I think I quipped something about the rain and he quipped something about having waited there hoping it’d let up because he had a long walk. Spontaneously, not sure I would have offered otherwise, I mentioned something about giving him a ride. He nervously but quickly agreed.

      Turns out it was about a 3 mile drive and we had a nervous small-talky conversation. When we got to his house he said “I don’t know why I accepted your offer, in the back of my mind this whole time I figured you were gonna mug me.” I responded “I don’t know why I made the offer, in the back of MY mind, this whole time I figured you were gonna mug ME!”

      So we laughed said our pleasant good byes and were on our way.

          • Indeed. It was a really good episode.

            It also reminds me of a time my roommate (who, though not an outright racist, had a certain level of distrust for African Americans) asked me to come with him on a one hour drive to pick his mom up at a bus station because the bus had broken down and she needed to finish the leg of the drive to come visit him. He wanted me to come along because he informed me that his mom had picked up some stranger she’d met on the bus that also wanted to get to College Station and was black.

            I went along with him. We picked them up and on the drive back, down a back country road the stranger suddenly says, please pull over now, it’s an emergency and I have to relieve myself, NOW!

            My already on edge roommate whipped into this long dusty driveway leading to an old rickety white victorian house about a quarter mile away and it was getting to sun down. After our passenger got out, my roommate said, Keep an eye on him this is what I was afraid of. So our passenger walked around the car towards the woodline, stopped and came back rapidly and then leaned against the car next to my door. Then I heard the faint sound of peeing and thought to myself, ok dude…seriously right next to me?

            Then he started getting antsy and nervous and cut himself off and jumped back in the car and said with a shaky voice “can we just get out of here, I don’t like this place at all.”

            When we inquired, he said jokingly, “I donno, just that house looks alot like the house from Texas Chainsaw Massacre…it’s night time…and, well, you know how those movies always work out for the black guy”.

  2. There isn’t much that can plaster a smile on my face as big as the one that’s there now, but, man, reading this line: “Mitchell then used his post as a springboard to raise money to buy a car for Korva, who is 20. It took less than 30 hours to raise $5,500.” did the job.

    What an awesome story!

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