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Stranger takes pictures of teen walking alone in graduation gown and changed his life

Corey Patrick in 2018 was photographed at 4 am walking alone to the bus stop to get to his graduation.

Stranger takes pictures of teen walking alone in graduation gown and changed his life
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe | Corey Patrick

High school graduation is a special day for any teenager. The occasion honors them for the hard work they did the entire year. Usually, people are surrounded by their family and friends on such a momentous day. However, that was not the case with this young man. In 2018, Corey Patrick was photographed at 4 AM dressed in his graduation gown, walking alone to the bus stop to get to his graduation, per WBRC6.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Agung Pandit Wiguna
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Agung Pandit Wiguna

He wanted to wear his graduation gown because it was a "proud moment" for him. His family had no vehicle to take him to the graduation, but he was determined to make it. His mom, Felicia White, said, "I told Corey, well, the best thing to do is just get on the bus and we will work from there." It was not the first time Patrick woke up so early to reach school. His family had moved away to West End and he had been attending Tarrant City School since Grade 4. So, to be with his friends, he walked and traveled by bus throughout his senior year.



 

White said, "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 ran back over there. So he doesn't make it back this way until about 6:30 or 7 o'clock." Rashawn Copeland—who goes by @bibleversedaily on TikTok—shared a video about Patrick's situation. "He wasn't met by some nice decked-out limousine with his family and friends ready to celebrate him and take him to his graduation," Copeland said. "He was actually met by a city bus where he had to jump on all alone and go to this graduation all alone."



 

He reached his graduation ceremony, walked with his classmates and collected his diploma. The family also got a ride eventually and was able to make it. A bus driver had taken Patrick's pictures walking to the bus stop, which garnered more than 40,000 views on Facebook. The picture also caught comedian Rickey Smiley's attention. He gave Patrick a car at the 95.7 JAMZ studio, per PEOPLE. Smiley said in a video, "Little buddy wanted to do this, trying to get no hype on the internet or trying to get no hype on the radio." "He did it because he wanted his high school diploma."



 

Smiley also promised to help Patrick get his driver's license. 95.7 Jamz Program Director and mid-day host Nu York said in a press release, "Corey is an inspiration to us all.vHis determination for success must be praised and recognized. Corey teaches us all a great lesson about endurance and how to push through no matter our circumstances." The viral photos changed Patrick's life in a lot of ways.

Corey Patrick has organized a GoFundMe campaign and raised over $29,000. He also got a full scholarship to Jacksonville University and wanted to study computer science. "I thank you all for the support and just know that I appreciate you all. Thank you again, Michael Nabors, for reaching out to me and my mother and doing everything you can to help me. You have shown me that it does indeed 'Takes a Village,'" Patrick wrote on the page.

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