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Rickey Smiley buys teen car after photo of him taking bus to graduation goes viral

Graduation season is in full effect, and many are celebrating the accomplishments of scholars across the country. One is Corey Patrick, a student who made it to his ceremony despite his lack of transportation.

» RELATED: Metro Atlanta well represented on U.S. News list of best high schools

Earlier this week, a photo of the high school senior from Alabama surfaced online. Decked out in his graduation cap and gown, he was walking to his program after hopping off of a public bus.

The image was captured by the bus driver, who posted it on Facebook. It soon garnered tons of attention with more than 70,000 reactions and 40,000 shares within less than a week. 

According to WBRC, Patrick’s family didn't have transportation to get him there, but he was determined to be in attendance. 

“I told Corey, well the best thing to do is just get on the bus and we will work from there,” said Felicia White, Patrick’s mother. The family eventually found a last-minute ride to join him.

» RELATED: Morehouse valedictorian headed to Harvard Law School

This isn’t the first time he’s taken this route to class. He’s had to make the trek since last year when his family moved further away from the 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. 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,” said White.

Patrick’s perseverance and determination has paid off. After his picture went viral, celebrities including Rickey Smiley, announced they’d be banding together to purchase the new graduate a car.

“I would just like to say thank you to everyone who is supporting Corey and supporting me,” White said, “and I really appreciate it.” 

» RELATED: Study: Race alters teacher expectations of students


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