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Alabama Teen Gets an Unexpected Graduation Gift

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Tamia Heard

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An Alabama teen has a new way of getting around town after photos of him catching a city bus to his high school graduation went viral. The pictures show the student walking from the bus stop dressed in his cap and gown, and ready to complete a chapter of his life.

Corey Patrick, a graduate of Tarrant High School, spent his senior year making a 90-minute commute to school each day on the city bus. The student’s family had moved out of the Tarrant City Schools district just before his last year; however, Patrick insisted on finishing school with his close friends.

According to a local news outlet, the family of the graduating teen did not own a car, but that wouldn’t stop Patrick from getting across town for school every morning.

Felicia White, Corey’s mother, told the news that her son had started his days between four and five in the morning. He then had to make a 10-minute walk to the bus stop where he caught a bus to take him on his 14-mile journey to school. Patrick would return home around 7 p.m. after waiting a couple of hours after school for a bus routed back to his side of town.

Graduation day was no different for the 2018 graduate. The perseverance he had shown all year would shine through once more as he headed across town to receive his diploma.

After the photos of him surfaced online, thousands reached out in support of the teen. Radio host Rickey Smiley, an Alabama native, joined by celebrity friends Tyrese, Mike Epps, and Da Brat gifted the teen with an SUV and driving lessons after hearing his story.

Corey Patrick is TRULY an inspiration!!!!

A post shared by Rickey Smiley (@realrickeysmiley) on


On Smiley’s radio show, the teen announced that he has accepted a full ride scholarship to Jacksonville State University where he intends on studying computer science.

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Tamia Heard is a rising senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Tamia is majoring in communication studies with a journalism concentration. As a southern woman, she enjoys Saturday's filled with college football and good food!

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