An Alabama teen was determined to obtain his high school diploma, despite the fact that his family doesn’t have a car. Images of Birmingham, AL teen Corey Patrick walking and taking the bus to his graduation have gone viral, with a few stars promising to buy the determined student new wheels for all of his hard work and dedication to his education.
Speaking to WBRC, Patrick revealed that his mom suggested he take the bus to his commencement since she had no way to get him there. “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.
Patrick proceeded to pound the pavement and caught the bus in his graduation cap and gown, with the bus driver snapping photos of the young man that eventually spread all over the internet. His family eventually found a ride and met him at the school. “I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year,” Patrick said.
His mother revealed that Corey was determined to graduate with his friends after moving to a new neighborhood. “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.”
The Shade Room is now reporting Da Brat, Tyrese and Rickey Smiley have committed to buying the young man a new ride so he’ll never have to worry about making it to an important event again.
In the wake of the Mike Brown shooting and Ferguson protests last year, many in the Black community called for Black celebrities to speak out against the injustices shown to their own people. Some Black celebrities rose to the occasion, using social media and TV news outlets like CNN to say their piece.
Others, like Nelly, preferred to move in relative silence and let their actions do the talking. Following the events in Ferguson, the St. Louis rapper came under fire for not visiting the city right away. He eventually visited Ferguson to speak with protesters and created a scholarship fund in Michael Brown’s name.
The scholarship was not merely a sentimental act to honor the slain college student but a part of a strategic plan to help bring change to the Ferguson community in the only effective way he believes he can.
“I try to do it through education because that’s the only way we’re going to get it. The only way we’re going to get this is to elevate,” Nelly explained in an interview with Hello Beautiful just after the Ferguson anniversary on August 9, 2015. “We have to get the kids to go out of these communities. Graduate. Get the knowledge. Come back to the community, and then they can run it because they understand the people and understand the severity of the situation.”
The Mike Brown scholarship isn’t the only act of altruism Nelly has taken in the area of education. He has sent two students to college on scholarships every year for the past 10 years. To critics who have rebuked him for his lack of vocal support for the events at Ferguson, the “Hot in Herre” rapper asserts that sometimes it’s better to do things quietly.
Singer and actor Tyrese Gibson recently made headlines when he offered to pay a young man’s Morehouse College tuition; an act that was graciously accepted by 21-year-old Lorenzo Murphy, also known as the popular Instagram personality “Zo the Motivator.”
Jamie Foxx opened up his home last weekend and held a special fundraising event in honor of Trayvon Martin. Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were in attendance and they were joined by several celebrity guests including Harry Belafonte, Russell Simmons and Tyrese, among others. According to Extra, Belafonte delivered a speech at the event and Simmons presented Martin’s parents with a six-figure check addressed to the Trayvon Martin Foundation.
The foundation was launched in honor of the late teen, who was shot to death by volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February 2012. The event later led to a racially-charged case in which Zimmerman was ultimately acquitted of all charges in the death of 17-year-old Martin. According to the foundation’s website, the purpose of the non-profit organization is to create awareness of how violent crime impacts the families of the victims and to provide support and advocacy for those families in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin.
Foxx, who has an 18-year-old daughter, has been vocal in expressing his support for Martin’s family in the past and has vowed to keep Martin’s memory alive. “When I first saw this story, I couldn’t get over it,” Foxx said at a community event earlier this year. “I’m absolutely committed to all you out there who have young kids. I hope you never have to go through anything like this.”