VALLEJO, Calif. – Officers helped a teen who walked 14 miles round trip for work. A 19-year-old young man in California who walked this distance saw his life change in the span of just a few weeks, after police helped raise money to buy him a car, and send him to college.
Jourdan Duncan’s commute to work was arduous. Every morning he would walk from his parents’ house in Vallejo, Calif. to his job in Benecia. This was a seven-mile trek. It would take him two hours each way, Fox 2 reported.
Last September a Benecia police officer spotted 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.
Keffer stopped Duncan and gave him a ride home, learning his story along the way.
Duncan recently graduated from high school and had a job at Pro-Form Laboratories, where he worked in a packaging line from 3 p.m. until around midnight. He was saving up for college and to fix his broken-down car.
Instead of being a burden to friends or co-workers, Duncan decided to walk to and from work. “It’s not a problem for me,” he told the Washington Post.
Touched by the young man’s story, Keffer approached his police department and the Benicia Police Officers’ Association. Officers pulled together and surprised Duncan with a new bike for him to use.
“We would like to acknowledge your hard work and dedication for what you do and setting the example for kids your age,” they told him, according to Keffer. “Hopefully this’ll make your trip easier.”
But the officers didn’t stop there. They started a fundraising campaign so Duncan would have money to fix his car.
The inspirational story gained a lot of attention. The campaign raised more than $42,000 in four months.
“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 the money raised, Duncan purchased a used Volkswagen Passat for $2,900 and put the rest in the bank. He also began taking classes at Solano Community College. His goal is to follow in the footsteps of some of his relatives and become a California Highway Patrol officer.
“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.”
(Feature photo is Jourdon with members of Benecia Police Department, courtesy of the agency.)