An Alabama teen set to graduate from high school went viral after photos of him heading to a bus stop in his cap and gown made the rounds. They’ve caught the eyes of Rickey Smiley, Tyrese and Mike Epps who hope to make his trips a little easier going forward.
Corey Patrick, a graduate of Tarrant High School, walked to the bus to attend school every day and when it came time for him to earn his high school diploma, that was no different.
“I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year,” he told WBRC after an image taken by a public transit driver Monday made the rounds online Thursday, May 17. His mother told the station he had been waking up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the 5:41 MAX bus.
“I’d just like to say thank you to everyone that’s supporting Corey and supporting me,” his mother, Felicia White, said.
Despite the teen’s reported full-ride scholarship offer to college, Rickey Smiley and his celebrity pals are pitching in to get him a car when he goes to college. Smiley tapped Tyrese and Epps to help give Patrick transportation to and from work this summer.
“I got Mike Epps to be a part of it … me, him Tyrese we gon make sure we get him a little car,” Smiley says on “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” Thursday, May 23.
Additionally, Smiley is also throwing a party for Patrick on June 23 to help the Alabama native and his family get on their feet.
Plus “Insecure” actress Amanda Seales said the teen’s story, “moved me so much” and felt inspired by the community support.
Aside from the celebs who have stepped up to offer words of support and a new ride, several GoFundMe campaigns have been established in Patrick’s honor.
The one he launched himself, “Conquering Against All Odds,” has raised $4,500 in a single day and aims to collect a total of $10,000.
“I thank you all for the support and just know that I appreciate you all,” he said adding, “it does indeed ‘Takes A Village.'”