At just 19 years old, Fred Barley has proven he knows what he wants out of life and he’ll do anything to make it happen.
Officers found the teen sleeping in a tent outside a Georgia college last week. Instead of giving him a ticket for trespassing, the officers listened to his story. They found out the 19-year-old biology major biked 60 miles in the Georgia heat on his little brother’s bicycle. Barley wanted to get to campus early so he could secure a job before classes began.
The dorms didn’t open until August, so he spent three nights sleeping in the tent.
Without a second thought, the officers took him to a motel and paid for his next two nights.
“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.
After hearing the teen’s story, strangers reach out to help
One of the officers’ wife posted the story on a Barnesville community Facebook page, and soon hundreds of people were reaching out to help.
The motel owner allowed him to stay until the dorms open, and the owner of a nearby pizzeria hired him on as a dish washer.
“I created a position for him before he walked in my door. I didn’t know his name. I didn’t know the color of his skin. I didn’t care. I’ve been there so I guess I had a soft spot for anyone who is that determined to succeed in life,” she said.
People started donating clothes and school supplies to the teen.
Blaney created a GoFundMe page so people could donate. Since Barley’s story went viral last week, strangers from all over the country have donated more than $180,000 to the teen.
Donations from around the country have also poured in.
Since the story went viral, Barley has moved in to his new dorm. The school allowed him to move in early.
Barley says he plans to continue relentlessly chasing his dreams.
“The Bible says, ‘You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ so I know I can,” he said. “My legs are working. Millions of people walk and bike to work every day. I definitely think I can bike a couple hours to get to my future.”