Teen walks 10 miles for a job interview that changes his life

When Jhaquiel started walking to his job interview, he never expected how a stranger along the way would change his life.

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  • How far would you walk for a job interview? A mile? How about ten?

  • Ten miles is how far Jhaquiel Reagan planned on walking when he set out for his job interview across town in Indianapolis, Ind. Although it was the morning after an ice storm, Reagan was determined to make it. A few miles into his walk, he asked a man who was pouring ice salt on a restaurant parking lot if he was headed in the right direction.

  • The man was Art Bouvier, the owner of Papa Roux Po-Boys and Cajun food, a restaurant in the area. He told Reagan that the business he was looking for was 6 or 7 miles away, and the bus would be much better than walking. Reagan thanked Bouvier, and continued walking.

  • When Bouvier was driving down the street a few minutes later, he saw the teen still trudging through the ice. Since the area has no sidewalks, this was very dangerous.

  • Bouvier offered Reagan a ride. He learned that Reagan didn't have enough money for the bus, and he was hoping to get a job to be able to provide for himself and his younger siblings. When his mom passed away two years ago, he was forced to finish high school from home while caring for his siblings.

  • Reagan's work ethic inspired Bouvier, who gave him cash for lunch and offered him a job at the restaurant if the interview didn't work out.

  • Reagan now works at Papa Roux. This inspiring story gained Internet fame, with 25,000 likes and 6,000 shares after Bouvier shared it through his Facebook account.

  • "Jhaquiel was walking to an interview...for a potential (but not guaranteed) minimum-wage job," Bouvier wrote on Facebook. "In this weather."

  • This story shares a valuable message about dedication. All of us are going through trials, and whether they are big or small, personal or obvious, life is not easy. This teen dedicated himself to arriving at the interview, whether in rain, shine, or even ice. We have the same commitment when facing the challenges in our lives.

  • What are you struggling with right now? Unemployment? Loneliness? A grumpy teenager? Divorce? Illness? Finances? Loss of a loved one? Infertility? Depression? Sometimes it feels like right when we learn how to deal with one trial, another one plagues our lives.

  • With all of the diverse problems that we face every day, life can become extremely overwhelming if we try to tackle them all at once. You might feel like you are barely beginning a ten mile hike on ice for a job that isn't even guaranteed. No matter what you're struggling with right now, never give up. Ever.

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  • Remember the all of the trials you had to overcome in the past? Those didn't just disappear — you conquered them through your grit and determination. Remind yourself of everything great that you have accomplished in this life, and recognize that although the trials ahead of you might seem scary, you can do this.

  • If it feels like everything is going wrong, think of Jhaquiel. Some may say his meeting Bouvier and receiving an immediate job offer was pure luck and that Jhaquiel was simply in the right place at the right time. But for Jhaquiel to randomly ask for directions from Bouvier, who was outside precisely at that moment, and then later saw him walking down the road again and decided to offer a ride, it seems like much more than sheer coincidence.

  • God's hand is in Jhaquiel's life just like it is in yours.

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Alysa Kleinman is a journalism student and an intern at Deseret Digital Media. 

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