As we all know, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and sometimes those of high school seniors do too.
Timothy Harrison of Center Point, Alabama planned to attend his high school graduation. He had even cleared it up with his boss to take a break. But when the day of the ceremony dawned, Harrison found himself stranded.
The event was taking place an hour from home. With his family members working and no one able to get him there, to the surprise of his manager, Cedric Hampton, Harrison showed up for his usual 7 a.m. shift at the local Waffle House.
Once Hampton heard the details of Harrison’s dilemma (not only did he not have a way to get to graduation, but he had missed the opportunity to pick up his ticket, mortarboard, and gown), the quick-thinking manager immediately organized his Waffle. House troops for action.
“I could see in his eyes that he really wanted to go, and he was going to take him there no matter what,” Hampton said. The Washington Post. “No child should miss their high school graduation.”
After being transported to school to retrieve his cap and gown, back at the Waffle House, the exultant senior donned a new outfit that his co-workers picked up and paid for (with a little help from some generous restaurant patrons ).
“We decided that we were going to step in and take care of everything for him so that he could really celebrate this day. A couple of clients also contributed, ”Hampton told the Post. “In a few hours, we were able to fix everything.”
Harrison was well dressed now, but they still had to get him to the three o’clock ceremony on time. It was very close, but thanks to Hampton, the future graduate just did. While his co-workers were unable to escort the young man inside, they couldn’t have been more proud of him.
“When I sat in that auditorium it was the best time of my life,” Harrison said. WBRC News. “This is a memory that I will treasure forever … I’m going to tell my kids about it.”
Harrison, who has only been at his job a little over a month, however, now regards his Waffle House group as relatives and credits his “working family” patriarch, Hampton, for stepping in, stepping up and be willing to go the extra mile for him. .
“The old saying goes that it takes a town to raise a baby,” Hampton told WBRC. “I am happy to be part of that town.”
Once news of the day’s events reached the local news, Harrison’s village grew much larger. Since the WBRC story aired, he has been offered a full scholarship at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham.
It made sense that when Harrison recently toured the college campus, Hampton was by his side. “I am his full-time mentor,” Hampton told the Post. “I feel great about what is going to happen next for him, and I will always be there along the way.”
Life may not offer guarantees, but at least Timothy Harrison knows that if his best plans fail again, he has a town on his corner to help him get things back on track, and there is nothing better than that.
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