Passenger wipes out Uber driver’s college debt

An Uber driver got a college degree after one of her passengers wiped out her debt. Uber driver Latonya Young has given rides to hundreds of passengers—but there is one particular car ride she will never forget. The 43-year-old single mother from Atlanta, Georgia had been studying criminal justice at Georgia State University until she was suddenly barred from continuing her classes due to an unpaid $700 balance on her account.

Passenger wipes out Uber driver’s college debt

“Every time I got ready to pay the money, my kids needed something,” Young recalled to WIST-TV. “I said, ‘Okay, I’ll just wait.’”

Young, working as a hair stylist by day and an Uber driver by night, had been driving a passenger to a soccer game one night when she mentioned her financial struggles with the university.

A few days later, she received a call from Georgia State University saying that she was free to reenroll in more classes since her Uber passenger, Kevin Esch, had paid off her remaining balance.

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“I was literally blown away. A stranger has never done that or done anything like that for me,” Young told reporters. “When he paid the balance, I had to do this for him. I maintained my grades, As and Bs, just trying to do everything to make sure he knows I appreciate him.”

The two kept in touch, and Esch attended her graduation in December. He told WSB that Young is an inspiration and that he's blessed to have had the opportunity to help her.

Passenger wipes out Uber driver’s college debt

Andrea Anne Jones, a spokesperson at Georgia State University, told CNN in a statement, "Kevin Esch has been justifiably applauded and heralded for providing the funds to enable Georgia State student Latonya Young to earn a college degree, but his gift is so much bigger than that. With it he has changed a life and opened a door to a brighter future for a student who, like so many others we see at Georgia State, simply needs a chance to achieve and succeed."

With her associate degree behind her, she's not stopping anytime soon. Young will be back in class this month to pursue her bachelor's degree with hopes of becoming a lawyer.


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