Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Breaking News

March 5, 2013

Ind. teen whose long walk for job draws donations

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Donations have been pouring in since a story went viral online about an Indianapolis teenager who was walking 10 miles to a job interview during an ice storm when he was picked up by a restaurant owner who offered him a job.

Now, the pair is starting a foundation to help other job hunters.

Jhaqueil Reagan, 18, was walking to a job interview at a thrift store two weeks ago when he cut through the parking lot of Cajun restaurant Papa Roux. He asked the restaurant's owner, Art Bouvier, how much farther he had to go. Bouvier told him the store was about 6 or 7 miles down the road.

"I assumed he was going to get on the bus or something," Bouvier recalled Monday.

But Reagan couldn't afford bus fare, so he kept walking.

Bouvier and his wife encountered the teenager about 20 minutes later while they were driving to run an errand. Bouvier offered Reagan a ride and found out he'd planned on walking the whole way.

"I decided I'd hire him," Bouvier said. "If you'd do all that to see if you could get a job, you'd do it to keep your job."

He also said Reagan told him he'd dropped out of high school after his mother died a couple years ago to help take care of his younger siblings.

Bouvier later posted the story on his Facebook page and, to his surprise, it quickly spread. Soon, he and Reagan were asked to appear on national television shows including Good Morning America and Fox and Friends.

"I just put on Facebook the story of my encounter with Jhaqueil," Bouvier said. "I'm no stranger to Facebook. I've done feel-good stories ... and they never get like this. But this story had gotten nearly 500 likes within 5 minutes."

Since then, donations have been coming in to Papa Roux by mail.

Reagan, who got his GED in 2011, is now set up with a job and his own apartment, so he and Bouvier decided to use the $2,000 they've collected in donations to start a foundation.

"It's fantastic," Reagan said. "This foundation that we're setting up, it's not just going to benefit me or Papa Roux. It's also going to benefit underprivileged teens who are looking for jobs."

Reagan and Bouvier are currently working on gaining official nonprofit status for the foundation. Donations will go toward helping unemployed people with transportation, clothing and resume building for their job hunt.

"It's a very dream-big scenario," Bouvier said.

Reagan is in his second week of work at Papa Roux and is enjoying his new job.

"I like meeting new people every day and taking care of customers," Reagan said. "When I smile at a customer and they smile back, I feel like I'm doing people a service. It's great, I love it."

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Breaking News
  • Indiana wants ban on abortion pill law lifted INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State attorneys are asking a federal judge to lift an order blocking an Indiana abortion pill law that critics claim targets a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette. The attorneys say women could seek the procedure elsewhere. Th

    August 19, 2014

  • Central Indiana reservoir foes back river trails DALEVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Environmental groups are proposing a system of trails to promote use of the White River in central Indiana rather than damming it for a planned seven-mile-long reservoir. The Mounds Greenway proposed by the groups would connec

    August 19, 2014

  • Semi hits concrete that fell from I-74 bridge ST. LEON, Ind. (AP) — State police say semitrailer crashed after it struck a large piece of concrete that fell from a bridge onto Interstate 74 in southeastern Indiana. Sgt. Noel Houze says the section of concrete was about 2 cubic feet and fell Mon

    August 19, 2014

  • Woman pleads guilty of trying to abduct baby MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana woman has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an attack during which police say she wrapped an electrical cord around a mother's throat and demanding she hand over her 3-week-old daughter. Thirty-five-year-o

    August 19, 2014

  • Loretta Rush Indiana's 1st female chief justice

    August 6, 2014

  • US Exhibition Basketb_Kova.jpg Doctors say Paul George faces long rehab after leg break

    Doctors say Paul George's biggest battle is yet to come, and it may take a year or more before he returns to the Pacers lineup.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palest_Kova (1).jpg Netanyahu warns Hamas against more rocket fire

    Israel's prime minister has warned Hamas that it will "pay an intolerable price" if it continues to fire rockets at Israel and that Israeli troops will operate as long as necessary to restore calm for Israeli citizens.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toledo Water Problems_Kova.jpg Ohio's 4th-largest city, Toledo: Don't drink the water

    Toxins possibly from algae on Lake Erie fouled the water supply of the state's fourth-largest city Saturday, forcing officials to issue warnings not to drink the water and the governor to declare a state of emergency as worried residents descended on stores, quickly clearing shelves of bottled water.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Newborn boy found in trash can in Indianapolis

    An Indianapolis woman was arrested early Saturday after police said she abandoned her newborn baby boy in a trash can at a warehouse where she worked.

    August 2, 2014

  • Mideast Israel Palest_Kova.jpg Israel says 'no point' in negotiating Gaza truce

    An Israeli Cabinet minister says there is "no point" in trying to reach a Gaza truce with Hamas and that Israel won't sent a delegation to planned cease-fire talks in Cairo.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller