Teen Gifted New Car After Picture of Him Catching Bus to Graduation Posted Online


Alabama teenager Corey Patrick lives about 10 miles from Tarrant High, where he was a student. The distance is not that far, unless you’re on foot.

His family had moved to a new home last year, right before he began his final year of high school.

Since his family didn’t own a car, Patrick had to get to school by himself. He took the bus, but the journey from his house to the school took about 90 minutes.

With no other options, Patrick did what he had to do. He woke up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to make the trek from home to school.

Graduation was no different. Patrick could have skipped the ceremony, but he wanted to participate with his friends like any other high schooler.

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The dedicated young man made that final long journey, but this time he was decked out in his cap and gown, too.

Fortunately the rest of his family was also able to find a way to get there. The resulting photos of Patrick running to catch the bus got people’s attention, and it wasn’t long before the photo had gone viral.

Rickey Smiley, a local radio personality, saw the photo too. With some help, he managed to contact Patrick and bring him on the show.

When he got there, Smiley recognized him for all the hard work he’d put into his education. Patrick said he hopes to pursue a degree in computer science.

But there was more: Smiley had a gift for the young man, and it was something he could desperately use. Patrick was gifted with a car!

With the promise of help to study for and take the license test, Patrick was set. No more insanely early mornings — now he could take his time.

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“He’s a great young man,” his mother said. “He’s very quiet, reserved, humble and he gets a little hardheaded sometimes, but he’s a very obedient child and I’m proud of Corey.”

Thanks to some observant passers-by who took the original photo and Smiley who recognized Patrick’s grit, Patrick now has a leg up on his future.

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