CBS 42 reports a bus driver took Corey Patrick's photo when she saw him walking to the bus stop in his cap and gown to head to his high school graduation. The post later went viral and gained over 74,000 shares on Facebook.
"I did it to inspire people on my page," the bus driver, DeJuanna Beasley, told CBS 42. "I didn’t do it because I knew him. I just did it because he got on my bus and I was inspired that he got on by himself and he was so determined to get it with no one backing him."
But Patrick isn't just a viral star now, he's also an owner of a brand new car, courtesy of Rickey Smiley. "We did it!! We gave Corey Patrick a car of his own!!!!" read a Twitter post with a photo of Patrick and Smiley at the radio station office for WBHJ 95.7 Jamz in Birmingham.
“Corey is an inspiration to us all,” said 95.7 Jamz program director NuYork in a press statement. “His 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.”
It turns out the determined teen wasn't only catching the bus for graduation though. Patrick, who attended school in Tarrant, Alabama since elementary school, wasn't deterred when he moved with his mom to another town 14 miles away. Instead, he started to get up early to catch the bus in order to spend his senior year with the friends he grew up with.
“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," explained his mom, Felicia White, to WBRC. "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."
In addition to a brand new car, Patrick is also racking up cash on a GoFundMe page. So far, it's doubled his initial goal of $10,000 with $20,394.