Student Who Walked Several Kilometers to Work Receives Free Car

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. pull over / pʊl ˈoʊ vər / (phrasal) – to move a vehicle to the side of the road and stop

    He pulled over to check his car’s engine.

  2. check on (someone/something) / tʃɛk ɒn / (phrasal) – to ensure that there is no problem with someone or something

    I check on my friends from time to time to see how they’re doing.

  3. set aside / sɛt əˈsaɪd / (phrasal) – to keep or save money, time, etc. for a particular purpose

    She’s setting aside some money for her upcoming trip.

  4. lay off / leɪ ɔf / (phrasal) – to stop employing someone because there is not enough work to do

    Many employees were laid off during the economic crisis.

  5. total / ˈtoʊt l / (v) – to destroy a vehicle

    I totaled my car when I tried to drive in the snowstorm.


Read the text below.

Jayden Sutton, an 18-year-old high school student from Georgia who walked 11 kilometers each day to and from work, got a new car through a fundraiser.

Sutton was walking to work one December afternoon last year when Lavonda Wright Myers, his friend’s mother, pulled over to check on him. Myers offered to drive Sutton to work because it was raining and the boy was almost late for his shift.

During the drive, Myers learned that Sutton had to walk each day after school to get to work. After six to eight hours at work, Sutton would again walk back home, often arriving around midnight. Sutton explained that he was setting aside money to buy a car and could not afford taxi rides.

Myers was touched by Sutton’s story and shared it on GoFundMe, an online fundraising platform. Her initial goal was to raise $4,000 to buy Sutton a car, but after just two days, the donations surpassed $6,000. However, the money was still not enough for a $7,800-car that Myers wanted to buy for Sutton. Myers asked the car dealership for a discount, and when they agreed to lower the price of the car to $7,000, she added some of her own money to be able to buy it for Sutton.

Sutton, who received the car in early January, was very thankful for Myers’s kind gesture. Sutton especially appreciated the gift because it was timely and beneficial not just for him, but also for his family. His mother had just been laid off, and her car had recently been totaled in an accident.

Sutton shared words of encouragement for people like him who are in a difficult situation. He encouraged them to keep doing good things and working hard to reach their goals. Sutton hopes they might also get help from others who see their efforts, like what happened to him.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were Sutton, how would you react to Myers’s present? Discuss.
• Do you think Sutton should try to repay Myers’s kindness? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think it’s important to help people who are in a difficult situation? Why or why not?
• What would be your advice to people who are going through a difficult situation? Discuss.