On Monday, an Alabama MAX bus driver took to Facebook to share a photo of a young man dressed in a cap and gown walking to the bus stop to attend his high school graduation.
Turns out, the young man in the photo, Corey Patrick, has been making the same commute to get to school for the past year. The Birmingham teen moved to the West End to live with his mother Felicia White after attending Tarrant City Schools since the fourth grade. However, despite his family not having any means of transportation, he was determined to graduate from Tarrant High School with his friends – so much so that he got up at 4 am each morning to catch public transportation to get there.
“Corey was getting up at 4:30 in the morning and had to be at the bus stop at 5:41 in the morning for the last year. Even when he would get out of school he couldn’t get from that side of town until 5:19 when the bus runs back over there. So he doesn’t make it back this way until about 6:30 or 7 o’clock,” said White.
His graduation day was no different. “I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year,” Patrick told WBRC. “When I woke up that day I was just happy that today was that day that I was going to walk the stage and get my diploma.”
Patrick’s mom eventually caught ride and was able to see her son graduate. The photo of Patrick walking to his graduation ceremony has since gone viral for all the right reasons, and now comedian Rickey Smiley has offered to help buy Patrick a car to take off to college.
“I thank you all for the support and just know that I appreciate you all,” Patrick said. “It does indeed ‘Takes A Village.'”
It sure does! Congratulations Corey on your graduation; your unwavering determination is an inspiration to us all.