Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Determined teen who took the bus to his graduation surprised with a car

After working so hard all year and getting up before dawn to take the city bus to school, Corey Patrick was not going to miss his high school graduation.

Last week, the Alabama teen hopped on a bus wearing his graduation gown, garnering the attention of the driver. As he got off the bus and began his walk to the ceremony, the driver snapped a photo of him in admiration of his determination and shared it on social media. Patrick's mom, Felicia White, told WBRC the family didn't have transportation to get to the ceremony, and she told him he had to get on the bus to make sure he got there on time; his family did find a ride and watched him collect his diploma.

"He's a great young man," White 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." Patrick and his family moved before his senior year, and wanting to finish high school with his friends, he got up at 4:30 a.m. on weekdays to make it to the bus stop by 5:41. He couldn't get a bus home until 5:41 p.m., often getting home at 6:30 or 7 p.m. "I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year," he said.

His story has touched a lot of people, and Patrick's family said they are grateful for all of the support they've received: On Friday, 95.7 Jamz morning show host Rickey Smiley gave Patrick a car, a GoFundMe started for him has raised nearly $17,000, and he's been granted a full scholarship to Jacksonville University, where he plans on studying computer science.