Determination can yield great results. Just ask 19-year-old Corey Patrick.
The recent Tarrant High School graduate conquered many obstacles to earn his diploma, so much so that his story has garnered national attention.
For one, he would get up at 4 a.m. daily to ride the bus to school from the West End community in Birmingham to Tarrant High.
For his trip, there was no such thing as a straight shot. He had to make several transfers to get to school and, according to his mother, it wasn’t unusual for him to return home after 6 p.m. weeknights.
But one photo changed it all. Members of the community have stepped up to help after seeing Patrick walking in his graduation uniform after getting off the bus. MAX transit driver DeJuanna Beasley said she posted the picture because she was inspired by him, and to date, nearly 40,000 people have liked her photo.
One person who “liked” the story and was moved to action is Birmingham resident Michael Nabors, a retired University of Alabama employee. Nabors said he was motivated by the young man’s grit and was determined to find him and mentor him. And he did.
Nabors has helped arrange local and national interviews for the recent grad, while being a source of encouragement and family support.
In addition to a number of local and national news outlets, Patrick’s story also caught the attention of nationally known comedian Rickey Smiley, a Birmingham native.
Patrick will be using that car to get to his new job this summer as he was recently hired by Golden Flake.
We recently caught up with Nabors, Patrick and his family at church services at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Pratt City, where graduates were honored.
The soft-spoken Patrick expressed gratitude for all of the support.