When an Indianapolis teen stopped to ask directions during his 10-mile trek to a job interview last week, he got more help than he expected.
Jhaqueil Reagan, 18, saw a man laying ice melt in a parking lot and asked how many miles it was to his destination.
Art Bouvier, the restaurant owner, told Reagan he still had five or six miles to go.
I suggested he take the bus instead of walking, especially in all this ice and slush,” Bouvier wrote in a now-viral Facebook post. He thanked me and continued on. He could have asked for money for a bus, but he didn’t.
A few minutes later, Bouvier and his wife drove past Reagan, still trudging through the snow, and decided to give him a ride.
The local news station, FOX 59, asked Bouvier, “Why aren’t you on the bus?”. “He said I can’t afford the bus until I get a job.”
When they picked him up, Reagan was still far from his destination and walking down a street without sidewalks.
After admiring the teen’s work ethic and willingness to walk so far for “a potential (but not guaranteed) minimum-wage job,” Bouvier gave Reagan some lunch money and dropped him off at his destination.
“I asked for his telephone number and told him to keep the interview, but I would see if there was a way to hire him, so his daily commute would be 3 miles instead of 10.
After Reagan was turned down by his potential employer, Bouvier offered him a job at Papa Roux.
In an interview with FOX 59, Reagan said he quit school two years ago after his mother died.
While caring for his siblings, he completed his GED. Reagan was ecstatic to have the opportunity.
Reagan said he was lucky to have met Bouvier. I’m really lucky to have met him.”
Since then, Bouvier’s Facebook post has received more than 25,000 likes and 6,000 shares.
Reagan was offered a free one-year bus pass by the local transit system after they heard the story.
He seemed overwhelmed by the fact that he now had a job, transportation, and a large following.
“That’s crazy. I don’t even know. It’s really crazy,” Reagan said. “My heart’s just racing right now. I’m just too excited, just too excited to get started.”
Reagan will be a worthwhile investment, Bouvier said.
The next time someone hands me a sob story about needing money for this or that, because they really want to improve their lives, I hope to introduce them to Jhaquiel.” Bouvier writes.