The boy who walked ten miles for a job – Mendte

Posted at 1:05 AM, Mar 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-04 10:11:22-05

This is one of the most inspirational stories I have heard in a long time, and there is a lesson for all of us, especially the media.

Art Bouvier runs a cajun restaurant in Indianapolis.  He was out in the parking lot spreading some rock salt early one morning after a bad ice storm when a young boy approached him.  Jaqueil Reagan asked directions to a local thrift store.  Bouvier, who everyone in town call Papa, said it was ten mile up the road. He warned to boy that he should take the bus because of the ice and cold.  The teenager thanked him and walked on


15 minutes later, Papa Bouvier was running an errand and saw the boy still walking on the road.  “I thought I told you to take the bus,” he shouted at the boy.  When Jaqueil explained that he didn’t have the money.  Papa said “hop in.”  On the ride, the teenager explained that he was on his way to an interview for a minimum wage job.  Bouvier asked him if he had anything to eat today.  When the boy said no, Papa drove him to a Dairy Queen and gave him a few dollars to get a hamburger before his interview.

When Jaqueil came out disappointed, Bouvier told him that he could work at the restaurant for 25% more than minimum wage.  He told the teenager that he would be proud to have anyone on his team with that drive and work ethic.

Bouvier went home and wrote about the story on his Facebook page.  A local reporter picked up the story and it quickly went national.  After reading the story, a man came into the restaurant and gave the new employee a cell phone, a bus pass and helped him get an apartment.  A lot of people came into the restaurant, Papa’s business tripled.

There are a lot of lessons to learn from this story.  Happy endings don’t just happen, you earn them.  It was Jaqueil Reagan’s drive and determination that got him a job.  And Papa Bouvier was rewarded for his big heart.

There is a lesson for the media too.  Stories like this happen everyday in America and we have to do a better job of finding them.  Inspiring stories of simple acts of kindness are contagious.

Most people get into the news business to make a difference.  This is our chance.  By reporting inspirational stories, we can inspire people to be better and make the world a better place.