VALLEJO, CA — A hard working teenager now has a new shot at life thanks to the kindness of a stranger.
Jourdan Duncan, who had grown accustomed to walking 7 miles to work every day and then back home as he struggled to save up for a car now drives himself where ever he needs to go thanks to a police officer who was touched by the 19-year-old’s work ethic.
Last September, Cpl. Kirk Keffer of the Benicia Police Department saw Duncan walking along an industrial road. “It was kind of weird to see someone walking around on foot,” Cpl. Kirk Keffer told The Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/03/02/this-teenager-was-walking-for-hours-to-and-from-work-until-a-police-stop-changed-his-life/?utm_term=.3fe9f87c0d0d).
Keffer stopped Duncan and gave him a ride home, learning that the boy was making the 14-mile-a-day track so he could keep his job at a local factory where he worked in a packaging line.
“It’s not a problem for me,” Duncan told the Washington Post in September, adding that he chose to walk after his car broke down so he wouldn’t be a burden on his family. Asked what his future goals were, Duncan told Keffer that he wanted to save up enough money to go to college.
Inspired by the young man’s ambition and work ethic, Keffer approached his fellow officers and the Benicia Police Officers’ Association and together they surprised Duncan with a new bicycle so he would no longer have to walk.
“We would like to acknowledge your hard work and dedication for what you do and setting the example for kids your age,” they told Duncan in September. “Hopefully this’ll make your trip easier.”
But Cpl Keffer didn’t stop there. He and his fellow men and women in blue started a GoFundMe campaign to raise some money for Duncan to fix his car and the community responded. Big time.
Duncan’s story quickly went viral and as of Tuesday, donations totaling $42,000 have come in.“The community just had an outpouring of love for him,” Keffer told the Post on Tuesday. “It was something the community needed, something positive at the time.”
With part of the funds raised, Duncan purchased a used Volkswagen Passat for $2,900 and used the rest to start school at Solano Community College. He says he hopes to be a police officer when he graduates so that he can help to give back.
“This is actually my first year and official year of attending this school,” said Duncan. “I’m so happy to be here.”
Duncan attends early morning classes four days a week then works his warehouse job in Benicia five nights a week.
“I get the question, why do I still work,” he said. “Because it won’t last forever. Any money I get I try to save or use for my needs and wants. Mostly my needs because my wants can come later.”
He says he’s eternally grateful to Cpl.Keffer and to all those who reached out to help him better his life.
“I just want to tell everyone thank you,” he said. “I can’t let it be for nothing.”
“I’m just super proud of him. He could have went so many different ways with that money,” Keffer said. “He’s got a bright future ahead of him. I just hope that he continues down this path.”