By: Zack Duvall
A 19-year old Vallejo, California man, who had walked seven miles to and from work for a little over a year, received a gift from his local police department who were inspired to help after hearing his story.
It all started when the 19- year old, Jourdan Duncan, was seen by officer Kirk Keller of Beneicia Police department, the town in which Duncan worked second shift on the packaging line for Pro-Form Laboratories.
“It was kind of weird to see someone waking around on foot.” Cpl. Keller told reporters about the first time he saw Duncan walking home from work on an industrial road in Beneicia, California last September. Keller stopped to ask Duncan why he was walking down the road that late at night, and when he heard the young man’s response and story he knew he had to help.
Duncan, who said the reason he walked the 14 mile round trip was because he didn’t want to be a burden to his friends and family, would make the two hour trek each way, everyday he had to work because the car he owned was broken down and he couldn’t afford the repairs. Duncan joked with reporters that it “wasn’t a problem” for him when asked about how he overcame the walking distance everyday.
That same week of their first encounter in September, Keller approached his superiors within his department and reached out to his local area’s Beneicia Police Officer’s Association in order to raise money for the teen, who at the time was saving up to fix his car and attend classes at his local community college. The organizations at the time bought Duncan a new bike to help him make the commute.
“We would like to acknowledge your hard work and dedication for what you do and setting an example for kids your age.” Keller and representatives from the Beneicia Police Department said at the time. But they weren’t going to stop with just the bike.
Keller and his fellow officers set up a GoFundMe account that, after only four months, had raised over $42,000 for the teen to purchase a new car. However, being as dedicated to college as the 19-year old Duncan is, he bought a used Volkswagen Passat for $2,900 and put the rest aside as he starts classes at his local Solano Community College.
Duncan, who graduated from high school last year said he has plans to possibly pursue a career in law enforcement as some in his family have done.
“It was something the community needed at the time, something positive. I’m just super proud of him.” Keller said of the teen and his story.
“He’s got a bright future ahead of him.”