A hard-working teen who never got anything handed to her got the surprise of a lifetime—thanks to a total stranger on a mission.
Life has never been easy for Sionna Brenn, a teen from Pearland, Texas. She moved to the United States from Ethiopia as a child, but faced abuse from the foster care system.
“I got adopted when I was 9 years old,” Brenn told KRIV. “In the deepest shadows it was very abusive. Families were very harsh.”
Things didn’t get much easier as she grew up, but she persevered. Without a legal guardian she ended up homeless, but still managed to put herself through Willowridge High School, where she is a senior.
Despite everything, she’s graduating with honors and will attend college in the fall.
Brenn has a scholarship to the University of Texas at San Antonio where she plans to study dentistry, but for now, she’s working at Starbucks to support herself.
And during one recent shift, she got a surprise she never could’ve imagined.
She was taking out some garbage behind the coffee shop—but then she realized wasn’t alone.
A man suddenly jumped out of the dumpster to surprise her!
“Sionna! Surprise!” the man yelled, popping out with balloons in hand.
Brenn was surprised—she had never met this man before and didn’t know what to make of this whole thing … until he led her to a special surprise he had waiting in the parking lot.
He bought her a new car!
This total stranger handed her the keys to a Toyota Corolla, a gift to help her get to and from her classes in the fall.
Brenn was stunned and left in tears. And when she told her benefactor that she didn’t have her license yet, he revealed another surprise: he was going to pay for driving lessons, too.
“It’s more than a dream,” she said. It’s crazy.”
So who is this mysterious good Samaritan who bought a random stranger a new car?
It turns out, he has a motivational story of his own.
The man’s name is Charlie Jabaley, and once upon a time he worked in the music industry as a manager to rapper 2 Chainz.
But he left it all behind when he got some life-changing news a year ago: he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Instead of going into despair over the diagnosis, Jabaley set out on a mission to make the world a better place, making strangers’ dreams come true. He started with his own desire to get into athletic shape, dropping 130 pounds.
He then set out with his friends on the “Dream Machine Tour.”
The group travels across the country doing inspiring random acts of kindness for others. Jabaley and his friend ride in front on bicycles (they ride eight hours a day) while the rest of the gang follows in a brightly colored bus.
“Everywhere we go, we’re looking for people who have dreams and how we can help them,” Jabaley said. In the past, they’ve done things like give a car to a pre-school teaching aide battling cancer.
It’s not always easy: Jabaley and his crew were apparently not allowed to film inside Starbucks, which is why he ended up in the dumpster (pretty funny though).
But with Brenn’s new car, it’s another successful mission. Their act of kindness will definitely make life easier for this down-on-her-luck but hard-working teen.