Latonya Young's life was turned around when a stranger decided to pay off her dues at Georgia State University, allowing her to continue her associate's degree.
We all make really big plans to achieve our biggest dreams. However, sometimes life just gets in the way. And so we go with the winds of change, shifting sail just to keep up. But occasionally, if you're just lucky enough, you're granted another chance at your goals through the simple kindness of an absolute stranger. This was the case with Latonya Young, a hairstylist by day and once an Uber driver by night. One day, she picked up a passenger when she was still an Uber driver and happened to tell him she never got to finish her associate's degree due to an unpaid fee. A few days later, she received a call that changed her future, WSB-TVreports.
In an interview with the news outlet, Young described what happened. She had picked up a passenger from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. "I got a call to go to (the) stadium," she explained. "It was an Atlanta United game." Once she picked him up, they shared a conversation during which the 43-year-old driver told him a bit about her life. At the young age of 16, she had to drop out of high school in order to take care of her first child. Then, after she enrolled herself in an associate's degree program at Georgia State University, she sadly had to drop out once again because of an unpaid balance of $700.
Young said, "Every time I got ready to pay the money, my kids needed something. I said, ‘OK, I'll just wait.'" However, a few days after that ride, she received a phone call that changed her life. The call was from her school. "And the message stated, 'You can register for classes now,'" she stated. "I was literally blown away. A stranger has never done that --- or done anything like that --- for me." The kind "stranger" was Kevin Esch, the Uber passenger Young had driven just a few days ago. Thanks to his random act of kindness, Young was able to go back to college to get her associate's degree in criminal justice. And a couple of weeks ago, Esch attended her graduation.
The former driver stated, "When he paid the balance, I had to do this for him. I maintained my grades. As and Bs. Just trying to do everything to make sure he knows I appreciate him. This one changed my life. That one ride." When WSB-TV reached out to Esch for an interview, he was traveling but did tell the news outlet that Young is an inspiration, and he's blessed to have had the opportunity to help her. Young has always wanted to be a lawyer, and now, she is one step closer to achieving her goal. Later this month, she will be back in the classroom pursuing a bachelor's degree. Young's story is an example of how one moment or one person's selfless actions can have an unimaginable impact on someone else.