Remember when we told you about Jhaqueil Reagan, the Indy teen who walked ten miles for a job interview? Well Reagan is doing big things now, and we’re not just talking about his new job at Papa Roux’s.
Half way on his trek to the interview, Jhaqueil asked Papa Roux’s owner, Art Bouvier, for directions. Art said it was a ways out and recommended the bus -- but Jhaqueil kept walking. Later while running errands for his restaurant, Art ran into him walking (still) and not only offered him a ride -- but a job. The story (which Art posted to Facebook) went viral, and the public started sending in donations.
And now, he’s announced that they're using the donations he’s received to help start a foundation that'll help others find jobs.
Art Bouvier and his new employee have partnered and are in the process of forming The Jhaqueil Reagan Foundation. According to Bouvier, the foundation wants to support the community at large by helping those who are unable to find or retain employment.
But that doesn’t mean he wants to restrict the work to one community; Bouvier said he heard from a shop owner in Beijing, China, who was so moved by the story that he created a position and found a young person to fill it later that day.
We spoke with Reagan to find out more about his new job and what he’s hoping for with the foundation:
ACT: I think everyone wants to know: how's the new job going?
Jhaqueil: I love it. I love the restaurant business; it’s great. I love meeting new people. I love serving people. When I smile at somebody and they smile back, I feel like I’m changing people’s lives every day. And it’s just wonderful. I couldn’t ask for a better boss. Things couldn’t be better at this point.
ACT: You have a new job, donations are pouring in, and it's all because of a chance encounter on the street. Did you ever think your life would change this much by meeting Art?
Jhaqueil: No I did not think that. No, meeting him for the first time… I wouldn’t have assumed that any of this was possible or would happen. I’m very grateful and appreciative of everything that is going on. The donations that have been coming in have been going to the foundation... It’s going to be a great experience.
ACT: I know you're going to use the donations to start a foundation. What do you want to accomplish through it?
Jhaqueil: Helping underprivileged teens and young adults find jobs… and create jobs… and help them get the tools they need to get jobs: training, clothes, whatever is needed.
ACT: What would success look like for you and the foundation?
Jhaqueil: If I can change one person’s life…period. That would be success for me. I want to change people’s lives for the better.
ACT: For people who want to get more involved but don't have the money to donate, what can they do?
Jhaqueil: If they can’t donate to the foundation, they can share our story. They can tell people about the foundation.
If you want to donate to The Jhaqueil Reagan Foundation, you can mail your donation to:
The Jhaqueil Reagan Foundation
973 Shadeland Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46219
If you can’t afford to make a donation right now, make sure you share Jhaqueil’s story and spread the word about his new foundation! Take action below to learn more about how you can take your career into your hands and fight unemployment.