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Teen receives life-changing gift after he’s spotted walking to catch bus in graduation gown
Corey was so determined to graduate that he would get up at 4 am, just so he could make it to school on time. Then one day, a stranger took some photos that changed his life.
Kate Miano
12.08.22

You might not ever know what someone is going through behind the scenes.

Just because you are in the same room as someone doesn’t mean that you arrived there the same way.

For one Alabama teen, his determination to graduate high school was so powerful that he went through extreme lengths to get to class.

It was only when a sneaky photo of him went viral that other people learned about his struggle and decided to help him out.

Unsplash - Dragos Blaga
Source:
Unsplash - Dragos Blaga

All year, Corey Patrick went to extreme lengths to get to school on time.

His family does not own a car. That means that to get to school on time, he would have to wake up at 4 am to catch the public bus.

Because of the bus schedules, he often wasn’t coming home until 6:30 or 7 pm.

No one really knew that he was going through that just to get to school.

YouTube - WVTM 13 News
Source:
YouTube - WVTM 13 News

Until a photo of him went public.

An observant bus driver took a photo as the young man was running to a nearby bus stop. She then posted the photo on Facebook.

In the photo that went viral, Corey was dressed up for high school graduation.

YouTube - WVTM 13 News
Source:
YouTube - WVTM 13 News

But what stands out about this photo is that he is hustling to the bus stop.

That’s right, Corey took the town’s bus to his high school graduation.

The lack of pomp and circumstance went straight to people’s hearts.

People decided that a young person who was so dedicated to their own education should be rewarded for their hard work, and his life should be made a bit easier.

A group of people got together to help make his commute easier.

YouTube - WVTM 13 News
Source:
YouTube - WVTM 13 News

Ricky Smiley, a radio show host, heard about Corey’s struggle getting to school.

Corey’s story touched him so much that he broke down crying and became determined to do something kind for the young man.

YouTube - WVTM 13 News
Source:
YouTube - WVTM 13 News

Corey was gifted with a brand new SUV after his graduation.

Because Corey didn’t have his license yet, Ricky Smiley was also going to help him pass the test and become road ready.

In a video by WVTM 13 News, you can see how excited his whole family is to go driving in the car.

Corey seemed overwhelmed by the support.

YouTube - WVTM 13 News
Source:
YouTube - WVTM 13 News

In videos and interviews, Corey is grateful and excited to start driving his new car.

He can’t stop smiling but seems like he’s trying to contain himself.

It must be so overwhelming to have so many strangers come together to help you out!

YouTube - WVTM 13 News
Source:
YouTube - WVTM 13 News

Since Corey’s story of perseverance has gone public, his life has been bolstered a lot by public support.

YouTube - WVTM 13 News
Source:
YouTube - WVTM 13 News

A lot of people are in awe of this young man’s dedication to his own education.

He truly is an example to follow!

In addition to the new car, a GoFundMe has raised nearly $30,000 to support him. The original goal of the fundraiser was $10,000.

YouTube - WVTM 13 News
Source:
YouTube - WVTM 13 News

Corey has also received a full scholarship to Jacksonville University, where he will study computer science.

It seems that this young man’s future is bright.

His dedication to his own future is so impressive, and he also learned along the way that life is sweeter when you have a village to step in and support you too.

Watch the video below to learn more about this inspiring story!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Kate Miano
[email protected]
Kate Miano is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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