South Philadelphia teen becomes superhero to help homeless

Ja-Bree Parks, who has epilepsy, wanted his wish to help others in need.

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
South Philly teen's wish makes him real life superhero
You're about to meet a real life superhero, and not just because he's dressed like one.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- You're about to meet a real-life superhero - and not just because he's dressed like one.

Ja-Bree Parks is earning that title for being brave, by helping others and being selfless on a day that's supposed to be about him.

The South Philadelphia teen has epilepsy and has been suffering from seizures since he was 2 years old.

When Ja-Bree found out he was receiving a wish from Make-A-Wish, he knew what he wanted: to dress up as a superhero for the day and hit the streets of Philadelphia, helping and feeding the city's homeless.

"He could have taken his family on vacation, he could have met his favorite recording artist or athlete, they could have had a swimming pool in the backyard, whatever it might have been," said Dennis Heron, the President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware and Susquehanna Valley. "Instead, he flipped the switch and Ja-Bree is providing us with the hope."

RELATED: Texas teens spread smiles through non-profit Drive-By Heroes

These Pearland teens are real-life superheroes, spreading smiles to children with surprise birthday and cheer-up visits! 🦸

Ja-Bree's wish led to the donation of supplies and 300 boxed lunches to Project HOME and Hub of Hope with the support of Wawa and other local organizations.

"It is important for me to help people because when I was little, when I was 3 years old, I had seizures and I couldn't help myself," Ja-Bree said. "But my mom helped me and I want to give back."

"I applaud him, I think his character is more ambitious than anybody would think from a 13-year-old," Ja-Bree's mother Tyieshia Parks said. "He's so unselfish, so this was perfect."

Wawa is also making a $2,500 contribution in Ja'Bree's honor to Project HOME.