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Determined Homeless Teen Bikes 6 Hours to get to College, Sleeps in Tent Waiting for dorm rooms to Open in August

IK Nwosu



Fred Barley

Fred Barley

19-year-old Fred Barley has once again proven that with determination, you can get what you want out of life.

Barley was found by police officers last Saturday sleeping in a tent outside of Gordon State College in Barrysville, GA.

The officers, instead of giving him a ticket for trespassing, decided to listen to his story.

He told the officers how he had ridden his younger brother’s bike 6 hours from Conyers to Barnesville (about 80km) to register for classes for his second semester of college. He stuffed all he owned in two duffel bags and carried 2 gallons of water as he rode through the heat of summer.

Barley pitched his tent at a nearby bush near the campus, determined to live there till August when the college dorm rooms will open.

He had nothing more than a box of cereal to eat.

Homeless and jobless, Barley spent the day searching for a job. It was after he returned to his tent that the police, responding to a report that someone was living in the bush told him to come out with his hands up.

The officers listened as he shared his story.

He told the officers that the bushes on campus are safer than his tent in the Conyers. He told them that he’s a biology major and will like to go to medical school one day.

The officers took him to a motel and paid for his next two nights.

“He was so understanding and he said, ‘I definitely applaud you for doing this. We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay.

The stuff that’s happening with police officers, I am black and he didn’t care what color I was. He just helped me, and that meant a lot,” Barley told Channel 2 Action News.

One of the officers’ wife posted the story on a Barnesville community Facebook page and hundreds of people stepped up to help.

Casey Blaney and the motel owner paid for him to stay in the hotel till the dorm rooms are open. A local pizzeria, DB’s Pizzeria, hired him on as a dishwasher. The University offered to get him in the dorm early – on Monday.

“I created a position for him before he walked in my door. I didn’t know his name. I didn’t know the color of his skin. I didn’t care. I’ve been there so I guess I had a soft spot for anyone who is that determined to succeed in life,” Debbie Adamson, owner of DB’s Pizzeria said.

Fred Barley and Debbie Adamson

Fred Barley and Debbie Adamson

“Fred I’m up your way a lot and I’m a Uber driver. If you ever need a ride man I got you! No charge! Good luck in all you do,” said Marcus Powell on a Facebook page Success For Fred created for Barley.

A man took Fred to breakfast and gave him a new men's mountain bike and running shoes.

A man took Fred to breakfast and gave him a new men’s mountain bike and running shoes.

I was shocked by how much support people will give from Lamar County and counties all over and even people from across the country that I’ve never met just wanted to help so much in my life. I was just so shocked and grateful.

Some of the gifts aren’t as important as the friends I’ve made. More important than everything – the clothes, the shoes – the relationships mean so much more to me.

The Bible says, ‘You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ so I know I can. My legs are working. Millions of people walk and bike to work every day. I definitely think I can bike a couple hours to get to my future,” Barley said.

Fred Barley2

A GoFundMe Page, created for Barley has raised over $130 thousand within 3 days.

Barley says God has been the driving force that keeps him going.

Barley shared a video on Facebook to thank everyone that has helped him thus far. Watch below:

Photo & Story Credit: Facebook | WSB-TV


  1. jennietobbie

    July 16, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

    • Damilola

      July 16, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      This is the type of story I need to snap me out of my complaints. Wow, that’s determination right there. This is the type of black men America close their eyes to bcos they prefer ones who perpetuate stereotypes. There are many young black men like him who are striving despite the odds. God bless this young man. Father LORD, Fulfill his heart desires and meet him at the point of his needs. Amen.
      Let me go donate, that’s the type of people I love to support.

    • Naijatalk

      July 17, 2016 at 12:16 am

      You are so right my sister. There are so many credible, wonderful, and hardworking black men, but the media loves to feed the masses negative stereotypes. I detest the system.

    • Hi

      July 17, 2016 at 12:38 am

      In as much as I agree with most of your comments, I have to say it’s the same media that spread his story

    • Naijatalk

      July 17, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      @ Hi, nope it was social media, that helped spread this story. There is a difference. Social media has no agenda, is raw, unhindered, and uncensored. The media on the other hand is controlled by the Powers that be, who seek to continually perpetuate and feed a stereotypical narrative, a sublime form of repression.

    • Bleed Blue

      July 17, 2016 at 11:48 pm

      @jennietobbie I thought the same.

      God bless the work and words of Victor Frankl. And God bless this young man’s drive.

  2. X-Factor

    July 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Wow! God bless you brov!

  3. olulinks

    July 16, 2016 at 6:23 pm


  4. "changing moniker"

    July 16, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Wow $130 thousand in a few days. …
    Determination breeds success.

  5. Marlvina

    July 16, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Just like the case of Jumoke the bread seller! God can raise men on earth to change your destiny! No condition is permanent. No matter what you face today, believe there is hope tomorrow!

    • Naijatalk

      July 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Not to take away from the uniqueness of her story, but this is miles apart from Jumoke the breadseller.
      Beautiful story.

    • Marlvina

      July 17, 2016 at 12:37 am

      Two different scenarios? Yes! But the bottom line is that it is pretty obvious both were favoured. Getting tremendous aid from people, which changed their lives for the better.

  6. Nelo

    July 16, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Wow! This is a motivated young man. God bless him and his future

  7. Manny

    July 16, 2016 at 8:00 pm


  8. cika

    July 16, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    This God self!

  9. Nahum

    July 16, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    When we have faith in God and follow it up with hard work and determination, God reveals the awesomeness of His majesty. Well done young man! Now repay the goodwill you have been shown by remaining focused and working hard.

  10. GOD's daughter

    July 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    When GOD steps into one’s case, it becomes so glaring that everyone begins to acknowledge that indeed HE alone is GOD and has the final say. I have just been encouraged to keep believing GOD no matter my circumstance and at the same thing inspired.

  11. GOD's daughter

    July 16, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    * same time, inspired *

  12. Drew

    July 16, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    For all those whiteys who fear black men, this is what most are made of. Harmless,decent abs driven. Thank God those officers chose to listen to his story and didn’t get trigger happy. God bless all those who have helped him so far.

  13. Ethio

    July 16, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    as i wipe tears from my eyes I determine to be
    strong too, and not see obstacles

  14. Tosin

    July 17, 2016 at 3:30 am

    So happy…good news is so lovely.

  15. Rayva

    July 17, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Awww……..this is the kind of news I love to hear

  16. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    July 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. Too many flaky people these days it’s so depressing. It’s great to meet substance once in a while.

  17. sweety

    July 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    This is positivity at its peak.great news

  18. Lou

    July 17, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Brought tears to my eyes

  19. Prince

    July 18, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Bellanaija, this is a story. Thank you for this. highly inspiring. If you can think it, you can have it.

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