Homeless teen’s life is changed after biking 6 hours to college and sleeping in a tent
This feel good story is warming our hearts. Fred Barley, a 19-year-old biology major from Georgia is the true definition of the word perseverance. With goals to pursue a career as a medical doctor, completing his undergraduate education is a top priority and a lofty goal to attain. However, he refused to let adversity with homelessness and unemployment stand in his way. He instead set out on a six-hour ride on his little brother's bike from Conyers to Barnesville, GA, with only two duffel bags and two gallons of water in tow
Upon his arrival, he set up camp in a tent on his college campus, Gordon State College, to ensure he would be able to prepare for class registration in August. His first few days were spent searching for employment during the day and seeking refuge at night, with nothing more than a box of cereal to carry him over. But Barley's plans took a huge turn for the better when he was startled Saturday evening at the sight of two police officers outside of his tent
The officers, responding to a call of someone sleeping on campus, immediately sensed that something was awry and began listening to Barley's story. Upon hearing Barley's goals and what he was doing to reach them, the officers were compelled to act. They took Barley to a local motel and paid for his next two nights. Then a wife of one of the officers took the act of kindness a step further by posting Barley's story on a Barnesville Community Facebook page. From there, a GoFundMe was created to help Barley pay for his college expenses and in just a few days it's raised over $67,000
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“The stuff that’s 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,” Barley said to WSB-TV in Atlanta
Comments and donations poured in from across the country as people were inspired by Barley's tenacity and strength to achieve and conquer higher education. Local pizza shop owner, Debbie Adamson, has given Barley a job and has committed to working around Barley's school schedule to allow him to work and help in any way she can. Donations of clothing, school supplies, medical & dental needs, shoes, a new bike, and possibly a new car are coming into fruition to help Barley succeed even more
The Facebook page, Success for Fred has been set up full of resources and contacts for Fred to build a community of support around him and see his vision of becoming a medical doctor come into view. The college student has remained humble but overwhelmed by the ongoing support from individuals. He credits God as the key factor in keeping him motivated.