Ariz. Cop Gives Bike To Teen Who Walks 9 Miles To Work
Phoenix Police Sgt. Natalie Simonick, 46, spotted a young man walking alone through a desolate neighborhood at 11 p.m. When she asked him what he was doing, Christian Felix, 18, replied that he'd missed the bus, so he was walking the nine miles home from his job at McDonald's, reports local station KNXV.
Simonick offered him a ride, and while talking to Felix became increasingly impressed. Felix didn't drink or smoke, and had never been in trouble with the police. She asked why he didn't ride a bike home, and when he replied that he didn't own a bike, and had never learned to ride one, Simonick decided to give him her spare. And she arranged for her employer, the Phoenix Police Department, to give him a bike-riding lesson.
"It's really something when someone comes off on the street and offers to do a kindness for you," Felix told KNXV. "These days you don't see anything like that."
More: Best Paying Summer JobsIn February, another hard-working teenager's chance meeting made news. Jhaqueil Reagan, also 18, and from Indiana, was hiking the 10 miles through an ice storm to interview for a minimum wage job at a thrift store, when he stopped to ask a man for directions. He confessed to the stranger that he couldn't afford the bus; his mother had died two years before, and since then he'd been staying home to care for his siblings.
The stranger happened to be the owner of a local restaurant and offered Reagan a job at twice whatever Dairy Queen would pay. "I'm just too excited, just excited to start," Reagan told WXIN-TV in Indianapolis.
Meanwhile, Felix's benefactor told the Phoenix TV station that she'd like to continue to aid the teen. "If everybody could help just one person in the world like this," said Simonick, "I think it would definitely be a better place to live."
And teens, with an April unemployment rate of 24.1 percent, could use that help more than most.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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