BARNESVILLE, Ga. - A Rockdale County teenager who biked six hours to register for his college classes says he’s still in shock by how much his life has changed in just a few days.
Fred Barley was so determined to get to Gordon State College to start his second semester that he rode a child’s bicycle to get there. He was carrying everything he owned in duffel bags and had two gallons of water.
“I didn’t have a ride here. My girlfriend couldn’t drive me. She didn’t have a car. So my little brother handed me a bike,” Barley told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen. “It was hot, but I thought, ‘I’m too far to turn back around, so I might as well keep going forward to get my goal.’”
When he arrived, he pitched a tent to wait until the first day of registration until the cops found him.
“I was scared. I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to jail,’” Barley said.
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Instead, a group of good Samaritans stepped up. The police officers paid for his first two nights at a Barnesville motel, and people from around the world stepped in from there.
“I think I literally had to ask him three times, ‘What can I do to help you?’” Casey Blaney said.
“I think I literally had to ask him three times, ‘What can I do to help you?’”
Blaney says Barley is a young man who deserves it.
He was in class at Gordon State last semester living in the dorms. His student loans covered that, but he had nowhere to go at the end of the term.
"Something said, 'Help him.' I didn't even know his name," said DB’s Pizzaria owner Debra Adamson, who gave Barley a job.
“We had an interview sitting out front of the restaurant and that’s all he wanted. He wanted a job.”
He got a lot more than that.
A GoFundMe page started for the teen is growing larger by the minute. By Friday afternoon, it had topped $70,000.
Channel 2 Action News first posted Fred Barley's story on Facebook on Thursday and since then, millions of people have seen it.
The biology major who dreams of becoming a psychiatrist will soon go back to class. He's says words don’t even being to describe how grateful he is for everything.
“Every single thing. The prayers, the food, the money, the bikes -- I thank God every day,’ he said.
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