POTTSTOWN, Pa. -- Hearing his name called as the winner of this season of America's Got Talent is a moment he never thought would happen for him, but this week it did.
"Standing on that stage in the top five, in the top four and then three and then two and I'm like oh my gosh what is happening," said Dustin Tavella.
It's a pinch-me moment that came with the help of his family, friends and mentors. He credits his wife for speaking this into existence several years ago.
"My wife told me she was like, 'I don't know why I was just praying that you were going to win America's Got Talent' and I was like you're crazy but thank you," said Tavella.
After a few years of auditioning and perfecting his act, Dustin made it to the stage. This time it wasn't about the followers. It wasn't about the money or the fame. It was for a real human connection.
"For so long I was just waiting to do something meaningful until the numbers were right, until I had the platform or whatever and I kind of got to this point where it's like that's actually not guaranteed to ever come," said Tavella.
Dustin also says it's his faith and his upbringing that's helped get to this point. He's from Pottstown, Montgomery County graduated from Pottsgrove High School.
"I live right by West Pottsgrove Elementary School so I was always there playing, hanging out with friends, playing basketball, playing on the playground and the jungle gym and whatever else we could be doing," said Tavella. "It was absolutely the best place to grow up."
A million dollars richer and the opportunity to continue doing what he loves, but it's the people who supported him that mean the most to him.
"I'm not here just because of myself and that means the world to me," said Tavella.