Teenager walking 10 miles for job interview gets surprise

Papa Roux

Newscast Media INDIANAPOLIS—The story of a teenager who was walking ten miles for a job interview in the snow, has gone viral, and is making headlines across the world. Art Bouvier, the owner of Papa Roux a restaurant that serves some of the best Cajun cuisine in Indianapolis, said on Friday Feb 22, as he was laying down some salt to melt the ice in front of Papa Roux’s, Jhaquiel Reagan, a teenager, approached him and asked how far it was to 10th and Sherman.

“I told him it was quite a way away. At least six or seven miles. I suggested that he would be far better off on the bus then on foot, especially in all this ice and slush. He thanked me and continued on,” Bouvier said.

About 15 minutes later as Bouvier and his wife were driving down the street, they saw the teen still walking on 10th street, and he was still almost two hours away from his destination.

“I called to him to get in. As we were driving, we asked him about his journey. Jhaquiel was waking from 42nd and Post to an interview at 10th and Sherman. For a potential (but not guaranteed) minimum-wage job. In this weather. Walking, because he couldn’t afford the bus. He had actually planned his time well and the interview was still 2 hours away,” Bouvier added.

Minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25 an hour, but Mr. Bouvier was impressed with Jhaquiel’s work ethic, he thought of hiring him for twice the amount.

“We drove him to 10th and Sherman, and he was extremely thankful and said so. I got his telephone number and told him to keep his interview, but would see if there was a way to hire him, so his daily trek to work would be three miles instead of 10. I also asked him if he had eaten today, and he said he hadn’t. I gave him money for lunch and dropped him at the 10th and Sherman Dairy Queen. I think he was in shock,” Bouvier wrote on his Facebook page.

Just yesterday, on Monday, Bouvier offered the teenager a job at Papa Roux.

“He told me about it and I was just so surprised, awe struck,” said Jhaqueil Reagan.

“Thank you very much. I appreciate it,” Jhaqueil said to Bouvier.

“You’re very welcome. I appreciate you trudging through the snow so now you can trudge here,” Bouvier responded.

The 18-year-old told Fox 59 that his mother died two years ago and he was looking for a job to support his brothers and sisters. He had to drop out of high school and recently got his GED. The story has inspired IndyGo bus system, FOX 59 is reporting they have given Reagan a one-year bus pass.

Such, is the story of a teenager with a strong work ethic, who encountered a small business owner who valued such a work ethic.

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