Waking up at the crack of dawn to go to school is hard enough as it is; now imagine waking up before the sun even rises to make it to school on time.
Corey Patrick, a student at Tarrant High School in Tarrant, Alabama, was so determined to graduate high school with his classmates that he was prepared to do whatever it would take. Even if that meant taking the city bus every morning.
Little did he know that his determination would pay off when on the day of his graduation someone would snap a photo of him that would change his life.
Corey Patrick attended Tarrant High School all four years.
This past year Corey began living with his mother, Felicia White. Although his mother lived a distance from the school he had been attending the previous three years, he didn’t want to leave his friends for his senior year.
Corey attending Tarrant High School wasn’t a problem, but finding a way to get there was.
“We didn’t have any transportation,” White told CBS 42. “Every morning Corey would get up and catch the MAX transit bus to go to Tarrant High School.”
After moving in with his mother he began taking the city bus to school.
“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,” his mother told 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.”
Despite the early mornings and late nights, Corey was determined to graduate.
The teen had to walk 10 minutes to the bus stop and then take a 14- mile trip to his school.
After a long year of bus rides, the day that Corey dreamed about had finally arrived: graduation.
But once again, Corey was without a ride.
“I told my son just go ahead and get on the bus and we’ll work from there,” White told CBS 42.
On graduation day, Corey rode the bus one last time.
You tell me this ain't Determination he got on my bus to go to his Graduation no one was with him I pick him in Elyton…
Corey hurried to the bus stop in his graduation gown and in the process a bus driver snapped a photo of him which went viral.
Among the hundreds that praised Corey for his hard work and determination was 95.7 Jamz, a radio show in Birmingham, Alabama.
“Corey is an inspiration to us all,” Nu York, 95.7 Jamz Program Director and Mid Day host, told AL.com. “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.”
During an interview with Corey, Rickey Smiley, the radio station’s morning show host, informed the high school graduate he would be getting a car.
“I need you to go and get your driver’s license,” Smiley said. “We’re going to buy you a car.”
Corey was treated to a surprise after his graduation.
Sooo @realrickeysmiley @tyrese and @sosobrat teamed up to bless Corey Patrick in a MAJOR WAY‼️ S/O and Special Thanks to…
On May 25, Smiley, along with other sponsors, surprised Corey with a car.
Corey was all smiles when he received the car. Though it’s not clear what he plans to do after high school, he received a scholarship from Jacksonville University, but nothing is official yet.
One thing is for sure—he won’t have to get up before the birds and take the bus anymore.