The cost of a college education is not cheap, but despite limited funds, this homeless teen student found a way to get to campus, making a sacrifice that many saw as remarkable.
According to WSBTV, 19-year-old Fred Barley bikes more than six hours to get to his campus at Gordon State College. When he arrives at the campus, however, he sleeps in a tent until it opens for the start of the school day.
When officers found him sleeping outside of the instituton, they listened to his story instead of giving him a ticket for trespassing, and that is what inspired them to help.
Fred told the officers he rode his little brother's bike for six hours from Conyers to Barnesville to register for classes for his second semester of college. During his journey, he packed two duffel bags carrying all of his belongings along with two gallons of water.
Since the Gordon State College campus dorms will be closed until the beginning of the next academic year in August, Fred pitched a tent in some bushed on the campus, and intended to spend the next few weeks there with nothing more to sustain him but water and a box of cereal.
The biology major, who intends on going to medical school in the future, had been out all day looking for a job to offset his college and living expenses, but the police offered to help after hearing his story. Appreciative of their offer, the teen told the news station of their kind hearts.
"The stuff that's happening with police officers. I am Black and he didn't care what color I was," he said. "He just helped me, and that meant a lot."
After the officer's wife posted Fred's story on a Barnesville community Facebook page, hundreds of people offered to join in on helping him raise funds.
"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," he said. "I was just so shocked and grateful."
From then on, Fred's burden was lightened a bit as the poster of his story, along with a local motel owner, covered his living accommodations until he got into the dorms, and a local pizzeria, DB's Pizzeria, hired him to serve as a dishwasher.
A GoFundMe account was even set up for Fred as he awaits school to reopen. Titled "Success for Fred," the campaign has raised more than $140,000 for the teen in under four days. Though he has received so many material blessings to date, Fred says he is most grateful for the people he has met along the way.
"Some of the gifts aren't as important as the friends I've made," he said. "More important than everything — the clothes, the shoes — the relationships mean so much more to me."
Take a look at the video coverage of Fred's story, below:
Watch as Rihanna pays for a fan's college tuition in the BET Breaks video, above.
(Photo: Success for Fred via Facebook)
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