Over the years millennials have developed a bad reputation. They have been labeled as lazy, as though they don’t have to work hard for success. But 19-year-old Fred Barley shattered that myth. Determined to get an education, the homeless teen biked for six hours to Gordon State College in the blistering Georgia heat, just to register for classes.
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All that Barley brought with him were two duffel bags with all of his belongings, two gallons of water and a strong will to get out of his current situation. A will so strong, that he pitched a make-shift tent outside the college, after he returned from a day of job hunting.
When two officers approached Barley, the teen told them he would rather stay homeless for weeks in Barnesville than return to Conyers, where he felt unsafe. Inspired by his determination, instead of ticketing Barley, the officers took him to a motel and paid for two nights.
“He was so understanding and he said, ‘I definitely applaud you for doing this. We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay,’”Barley said. “The stuff that’s been happening with police officers, I am black and he didn’t care what color I was. He just helped me, and that meant a lot.â€
A post by one of the officer’s wives went viral, leading to a GoFundMe page that raised over $30,000 for Barley in three days.
“I was shocked by how much support people will give from Lamar County and counties all over and even people from across the country that I’ve never met just wanted to help so much in my life,”Barley said. “I was just so shocked and grateful.â€
Barley is enrolled as a biology major and has a job as a dishwasher at a local pizzeria. He has received school supplies, new shoes and a bike from donors. A group is also working to get him a car.
Barley is still in shock by the overwhelming support people continue to show him. He expressed that gratitude in a message on his Facebook page.
Amazing determination can lead to amazing kindness. Share his inspiring story today!
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