He may be the only 18-year-old in history who can actually, and factually, complain about walking 10 miles to work in the snow, but something tells me Jhaqueil Reagan isn't one for complaining. When his mother died two years ago, he had to quit school and find a job so that he could take care of his younger siblings. But work in Indianapolis wasn't especially easy to find, so when Jhaqueil was hired for a minimum wage position at a thrift store, he didn't let the gnarly, nasty 10-mile walk to work get in his way. He couldn't afford the bus fare.
Three miles into one snowy, slushy trek to the store, he came across a restaurant owner de-icing the sidewalk, and moments later, everything changed.
Jhaqueil asked Art Bouvier, owner of Papa Roux Cajun Cooking, how much further he had 'til he reached the store, and Art, shocked at the condition in which the teen was walking, said it was another seven miles or so, and suggested he take the bus.
Then, driving along the road a little while later, Art saw Jhaqueil still walking and offered him a ride. The two got to chatting, and blown away with the boy's work ethic, Art dropped him off at the thrift store, then came up with a way to surprise Jhaqueil with a job at his eatery.
Art posted about his happenstance meeting with this plucky kid on Facebook, and people started sharing his story like crazy. The Indianapolis Public Transportation caught wind of the inspiring kid and presented him with a year's worth of free bus passes.
Jhaqueil, it would seem, is more excited than ever to work. "It's crazy. I don't even know. It's really crazy. My heart's just racing right now. I'm just too excited, just excited to start."
He's setting a wonderful example for his siblings, and for all of us, young and old. His work ethic, determination, and great attitude paid off. We try and teach our children that those values matter, that they do, in fact, get you further in life than taking the easy road, and Jhaqueil illustrates that point to a T.
Here's hoping he makes a great gumbo.
How do you teach your kids about work ethic?
Do it yourself
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