ATLANTA, Ga. – A former Uber driver who’d put her dream of earning a college degree on hold graduated thanks to the kindness of a stranger.
Latonya Young had to drop out of college because of an unpaid $700 balance at Georgia State University.
The 43-year-old single mother drove for Uber at night to earn extra cash. She works as a hair stylist during the day.
WSB-TV reports that Young picked up a passenger after an Atlanta United game. They started talking, and Young shared some of her story with the man. She wanted to pay the balance at Georgia State but said something always came up.
“Every time I got ready to pay the money, my kids needed something. I said, ‘OK, I’ll just wait,’” Young said.
A few days after the ride, she received a phone call from George State University.
“And the message stated, ‘You can register for classes now.’ I was literally blown away. A stranger has never done that–or done anything like that–for me,” Young told WSB-TV.
Kevin Esch, the Uber passenger Young had talked to, paid the balance and ended up attending her graduation.
She earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice and plans to return to class to get her bachelor’s degree.
“I maintained my grades. As and Bs. Just trying to do everything to make sure he knows I appreciate him,” Young said.
“This one changed my life. That one ride.”
In a text message to a WSB-TV reporter, Esch called Young an inspiration and said he was blessed to have the opportunity to help her.