Atlanta Uber driver graduates after passenger pays off college debt

ATLANTA -- An Atlanta Uber driver achieved her dream of graduating from college after one of her passengers paid off her student debt.

On the day of the serendipitous rideshare pickup, LaTonya Young was working as a hairstylist "by day" and an Uber driver "by night."

The 43-year old single mom was driving a stranger to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for an Atlanta United game when she started sharing her life story.

She told him she dropped out of college at age 16 after giving birth to her first child. She had recently dropped out of Georgia State University because of an unpaid $700 balance.

"Every time I got ready to pay the money, my kids needed something. I said, 'OK. I'll just wait,'" she said.

A few days after that rideshare, Georgia State called Young.

"The message stated, 'You can register for classes now.' I was literally blown away. A stranger has never done that, or done anything like that, for me," she said.

That stranger, the Uber passager, was Kevin Esch.

Young said his act of kindness inspired her to maintain her grades. A few weeks ago, she earned her associate's degree in criminal justice, and Esch attended the graduation.

This month, she'll be back in class to pursue a bachelor's.

Esch wasn't available for an interview but told WSB-TV that Young is an inspiration to him.
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