SVHS grad Warzocha overcomes adversity to reach firefighter, videographer dreams

‘I have never met someone who works harder and is more driven’


CHICAGO – Ninety miles west of Chicago in the small town of Davis Junction, with a population well below 3,000 people, is not where you would expect a story of grit, triumph, and innovation to be borne, but Dariusz Warzocha and his story is anything but what you would expect.

Dariusz, commonly called D, immigrated to the United States from Poland when he was in elementary school. His family ultimately settled in a small town where there were very few non-English speakers and almost nobody who spoke Polish. Still, D managed to not only make it through school, he thrived.

While in high school, D started to explore entrepreneurial pursuits. In fact, as a ninth-grade student he persuaded the superintendent and board of education of the Meridian School District to begin using his services to better promote and market the school. These pursuits led to a myriad of partnerships with the school district including becoming the official videographer of graduation ceremonies, filming promotional campaigns, and serving as background expertise time and again. His leadership and impact on the district was profound. In fact, Dariusz’s impact on his school was so significant that he even featured in an educational leadership book focusing on amplifying student voice.

After high school, D was a full-time student and a full-time entrepreneur. As an immigrant to the United States, Dariusz had always known that he wanted to give back to the country and began EMT and firefighter courses. While excelling in classes, his videography was taking off and he had created an incredible business for anyone, let alone a full-time 21-year-old student.

Then, the thing that had defined Dariusz, seemed to fade. His prodigious energy waned and he could barely keep up as a full-time student let alone a full-time student and full-time entrepreneur. Dariusz eventually went to the doctor for some answers and literally did not leave the doctor’s office. He was immediately transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and diagnosed with Chronic Leukemia.

When admitted to the hospital, D was in serious condition. Weeks of testing, diagnosis, and treatment followed while he was over a hundred miles away from family and friends. While D’s prognosis was (and is) good, when the disease was discovered it had become so advanced that he had lost partial vision in one of his eyes.

In the many hours alone in his hospital room in Madison, Dariusz had two major regrets. First, that he was yet to be able to serve as an EMT and firefighter and given his diagnosis he was unsure if that would ever be a possibility. Second, he had always had a love for cars and he had never taken the chance to pursue a business venture he knew he had in his heart.

Fast forward two years later and Dariusz serves as a career firefighter paramedic in the Chicago northwest suburbs and he has taken his business to a new level and followed his passion of working with and around the best the automotive world has to offer. This new avenue has astonishingly led Dariusz and his company, ZOKA Media, to be able to unveil its new high-performance camera car, named the ZOKA Performance Production Unit, at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show.

The ZOKA Performance Production Unit is a highly modified Jaguar F-Type R, equipped with some of the best imaging and stabilization technology out there. The entire system has been custom built, and carefully pieced together through endless rounds of research, trial, and error. An exo-skeleton serves as the foundation to the camera system, connected to the exo-skeleton is a specially designed shock absorbing arm. Attached to the arm is a motorized gimbal stabilization system, offering industry leading performance in camera control. Both the vehicle and camera system are purpose built for the race track, to keep up with and in many cases surpass the performance of some of the fastest cars in the world.

“As a videographer and life-long car enthusiast, I understand the meaning that cars hold to people and the importance of preserving memories,” Warzocha said. “We want to make professional grade media available, accessible, affordable, and most importantly, safe - to every automotive enthusiast.”

This unveiling is not just a showcase of technological advancement but a celebration of human spirit, embodied by Warzocha.

“Dariusz is relentless - regardless of the odds he is facing,” Meridian School District Superintendent and Warzocha’s first business client Dr. PJ Caposey said. “D is a profile in courage and grit. I have never met someone who works harder and is more driven than Dariusz. He has not only helped my business, but he inspires me to be a better person.”

D has used his talents and his companies’ not only for personal gain, but to support his communities and causes he cares about. The unveiling of this high-performance camera car is not just a technical milestone; it’s a landmark in ZOKA Media Group's ongoing mission to give back. Partnering with Ultimate Road Rally and Cal's Angels, the event "Angels on Track" raised over $125,000 for children facing cancer, embodying the belief that success truly shines when shared with others.

The 2024 Chicago Auto Show will serve as the platform where technology meets humanity, showcasing not just a vehicle, but a vision brought to life by a man who believes in giving everything one’s got, regardless of the challenges faced. Dariusz and the ZOKA Media Group team welcome everyone to join them in celebrating this remarkable achievement and the enduring spirit of giving back. The vehicle will be located within Section 8 at the Chicago Auto Show, surrounded by other exotic vehicles being featured from the ChiTown Exotics Car Club.