Meet the student whose picture walking to graduation gained nationwide attention

Meet the student whose picture walking to graduation gained nationwide attention
(Source: WBRC Video)

TARRANT, AL (WBRC) - A picture is worth a thousand words, but one picture captured by a MAX bus driver captured tells a story of determination.

It shows Corey Patrick walking and he was dressed in his graduation gown. He was walking to a bus stop to get to his graduation. The photo was posted online and quickly got the attention of thousands across the country.

Many left comments admiring the Corey's determination. Others wanted to know who was the young man in the photo and how they could help him.

After several thousand shares, the young man was identified as Corey Patrick, a 2018 graduate of Tarrant High School.

Patrick said he wore his gown because this was a proud moment for him.

"I was happy on that day," said Corey.

His family didn't have transportation to get him there, but he was determined to make it.

"I told Corey, well the best thing to do is just get on the bus and we will work from there," said Felicia White, Corey's mother.

White said the family eventually found a ride and made it.

"He's a great young man. He's very quiet, reserved, humble and he gets a little hardheaded sometimes, but he's a very obedient child and I'm proud of Corey," said White.

Corey's walk to the bus stop last Thursday isn't one that' new to the graduate. He made the walk throughout his senior year.

"I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year," he said.

He recently moved to  West End after attending Tarrant City Schools since 4th grade. His mom said he wanted to finish his senior year up with friends.

"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.

It's this perseverance that touched the hearts of  thousands online. It's the power of social media and  the generosity of the community , that's touched this family beyond  anything they could imagine.

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

Birmingham radio station 95.7 Jamz announced morning show host Rickey Smiley plans to gift Corey a vehicle.

"Corey is an inspiration to us all," 95.7 Jamz Program Director and mid-day host Nu York said in a press release. "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."

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