+861 votes
Success For Fred
Description
At just 19-years-old, Fred Barley has proven he knows what he wants out of life and he'll do anything to make it happen.

Officers found the teen sleeping in a tent over the weekend outside a local college. Instead of giving him a ticket for trespassing, the officers listened to him – and that's where this amazing story begins.

Barley, a homeless college student, told the officers he had ridden his little brother's bike six hours from Conyers, Georgia, to Barnesville, Georgia, to register for classes for his second semester of college. He had two duffel bags carrying all he owned and two gallons of water as he rode through the heat of a Georgia summer.

The problem is, the Gordon College campus dorms don't open until August, so Barley pitched a tent in some bushes on campus and prepared to spend the next few weeks there with nothing more than a box of cereal to eat.

Barley spent the day job-searching, and had just gotten back to his tent Saturday night when officers walking by heard a noise and told Barley to come out with his hands up. The officers quickly realized that something wasn't right. They sat down with Barley, who told them his story.

The biology major, who dreams of going to medical school one day, told the officers he thought the bushes on campus would be a much safer place for him to sleep than staying in his tent in Conyers.

"He was so understanding and he said, 'I definitely I applaud you for doing this. We can't allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay,'" Barley told WSB.

Without a second thought, the officers took him to a local motel and paid for his next two nights.

"The stuff that's happening with police officers, I am black and he didn't care what color I was. He just helped me, and that meant a lot," Barley said.

That could be the end of this story, but it was only just the beginning.

A Barnesville, Georgia, woman, Casey Blaney, heard Barley's story and posted it on a community Facebook page. Hundreds of people stepped up to help.

"I was shocked by how much support people will give from Lamar County and counties all over, and even people from across the country that I've never met just wanted to help so much in my life. I was just so shocked and grateful," Barley said.

Blaney and the motel owner paid for him to stay in his room until he can get into the dorms, which are allowing him to move in early on Monday. A local pizzeria, DB's Pizzeria, hired him on as a dishwasher.

Owner Debbie Adamson said she saw his story on Facebook and knew immediately that she wanted to help.

"I created a position for him before he walked in my door. I didn't know his name. I didn't know the color of his skin. I didn't care. I've been there, so I guess I had a soft spot for anyone who is that determined to succeed in life," she said.

Adamson, who's been through several struggles in her life as well, says they plan to keep him employed and eventually teach him to cook the pizza, all while working around his school schedule.

"The most shocking part is so many people coming to help a stranger, because honestly, in today's society this sounds like a scam," Barley said about his story.

People have donated clothes, school supplies, shoes, a new bike and they are working to get him a car. People have also stepped up to take care of his dental and medical needs. Blaney created a Facebook page called Success For Fred and also started a GoFundMe page that's raised nearly $9,000 in two days.

But Barley says despite all of that, for which he is extremely grateful, it's the people that mean the most.

"Some of the gifts aren't as important as the friends I've made. More important than everything -- the clothes, the shoes -- the relationships mean so much more to me," he said.

One of those connections is Amber Shoemake, who lost her son Leland to a rare brain infection last year. She says she felt an instant need to help Fred.

"It's sad because we would do anything to have our child with us, and for him to just be out there with no family, it completely broke my heart," she said.

Barley plans to attend church with Shoemake and her family on Sunday.

He says God has been the driving force that keeps him going.

"The Bible says, 'You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,' so I know I can," he said. "My legs are working. Millions of people walk and bike to work every day. I definitely think I can bike a couple hours to get to my future."

On Thursday, Barley recorded a video message to thank everyone who's helped him. It was posted to a Facebook community page by his girfriend, Shaina Boyd:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/successforfred/
Donation
https://www.gofundme.com/successforfred
37,666 views Jul 16, 2016

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Wanda67 390 points
Fred has unwittingly given so much hope to a country that has been inundated with a lot of sorrow and hatred in recent weeks. He asked for none of the help he has received, but a young man like this, so determined to better himself, deserves it that much more! I know I am one of many who are #teamfred
+33 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Princess Nicky 370 points
This story has given me even more hope. Fred has inspired me to fight for my dreams and to never give up. This story has united us beyond race, color, creed, or social status. A story of hope and love. Love never fails. Love wins always. My heart is overwhelmed.
+24 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Cleveland Mara 340 points
I hope Ellen sees this post and invites Fred to be on her show!  We ALL need to see inspiring and feel good stories such as this one every day!
+19 votes
Jul 16, 2016
BajanDeb 350 points
This young man is exactly what the country needs right now. People need to have their negative stereotypes of African Americans, which claim that young black men are criminal, violet and lazy, challenged by seeing brave and determine young men who are trying to achieve excellence and make a positive contribution to our society. Fred embodies and exemplifies this. They also need to see police officials who are kind and caring and committed to helping all people of this nation. We need to see Fred. Please have him on your show.
+15 votes
Jul 17, 2016
tldewire 350 points
Please bring Fred on your show. He is a shining example to all of us, young and old, black or white, all of us!
+13 votes
Jul 17, 2016
hclemmer79 370 points
America needs to see that we should not stereotype.
Not against officers or young black men.
Or anyone for that matter.
America needs this story of unity right now.
+13 votes
Jul 17, 2016
jar2005 350 points
Loved seeing officers protect and serve!
+10 votes
Jul 17, 2016
RebeccaKlaus 310 points
We need to celebrate drive and determination-- what Fred Barley exemplifies!!
+8 votes
Jul 17, 2016
jabinia 310 points
Cheering Fred on! May God continue to bless him and everyone helping him on the road to succes. He is such an inspiration. #TeamFred
+8 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Becky Bedard 300 points
Fred is a young man who knows what he wants and isn't afraid of the hard work to attain that goal!! He has been quiet about the reason he is in the situation he is I can only imagine how awful his past is for him to do what he had to, to get to campus!! I commend him for his hard work and dedication!!! He deserves so much more then has been offered to him. In this time what is going on in our society this is such a truly inspiring story and I wish more young men would work as hard as Fred has to get themselves to school!!! I will keep praying and pushing for #teamfred
+8 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Fab5Accessories 310 points
This kid did not ask for the national attention all he wanted was a job and to complete what he started.  Keep in mind, no one knew his situation his first semester so he was not looking for publicity or a handout.  He has truly united people of all races by his dedication and determination to complete his education.  Even if he does not make in on Ellen, he made it to our hearts and for that is something more powerful than 15 minuets.
+8 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Teresa MacWelch 290 points
Fred you're a Angel sent to us to renew our faith in mankind.  You are truely a blessing that we all needed.  There is good and bad in all of us - young, old, black, white, female or male - but you have shown all of us how the world can change by being a person of determination.  As you been able to see your story has warmed the heart of many people that thought that mankind was lost in this harsh world.  Your story has brought a community of people working together.  Thank you for being the light that we needed to restore the faith in this world.  You will go far young man.  I know you will do good things.  Be true to yourself.  May we all take this as a new start in life.  Keep your new friends and family posted.
+7 votes
Jul 17, 2016
shearoc 320 points
Ellen please bring Fred on upper show he would most definitely inspire others. He is proof it takes a village to raise a child. #TeamFred
+7 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Lynn Quinlisk Zychow 110 points
EXACTLY!! XOXOXOXOX
soga2000 260 points
How many times can you vote? What does the vote do? There has to be some organization out there willing to give this young man a scholarship.
+6 votes
Jul 17, 2016
stzeus 270 points
You CAN do anything through Christ.  Keep the faith brother, BE BLESSED!  You are blessing millions of people.  Awesomeness!!!! <3
+6 votes
Jul 17, 2016
KPVingoe 260 points
Fred's story and everyone assisting him is what we need to be hearing more about! There is so much greatness in the world that we never hear about. I wish Fred an incredible journey of fulfilling his dreams!
+6 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Jill Stone 270 points
Very inspirational young man!
+6 votes
Jul 17, 2016
missy442 260 points
If individuals can help and contribute what was requested for his GoFundMe page, Just think what can be accomplished if individuals come together as a group with a common goal. I think Fred is going to accomplish a lot due to his determination.
+6 votes
Jul 17, 2016
BGranger
Where do you vote? I don't see anything on this page to vote for Fred? Maybe I'm missing it, please help me figure it out!!
Marian Rezelman 240 points
At the top of the page, in the left hand corner, click on the green ^
Sheila Mansfield Bel 250 points
This story is so touching especially in todays world.  I saw someone post the other day #BeLikeFred
+5 votes
Jul 17, 2016
pmzd2001 250 points
An amazing young man!
+5 votes
Jul 17, 2016
mrslinds915 250 points
I would love to see Fred tell his story on the show! It's so inspiring and could give hope to someone who might need uplifting.
+5 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Weareoddco 250 points
Fred, you are amazing. You give many people hope for a new day. I know that you will pass on blessings to others when the time comes. We are stronger together.
+5 votes
Jul 17, 2016
Breenag 300 points
Wtg Fred I love your story
+4 votes
Jul 18, 2016
Tuty Torres 200 points
It is my hope that Fred and the officers that found him appear on the show.
+3 votes
Jul 18, 2016
Alaneh Bradley Morri 210 points
This story has touched me!
+3 votes
Jul 18, 2016
mnt1218 210 points
I can't get enough of this story! LOVE love love! #BEAFRED #TEAMFRED
+3 votes
Jul 18, 2016
GT 190 points
What an inspiration!!! Hope to see him on your show.
+2 votes
Jul 18, 2016
Wendy Perron 220 points
Fred, what an amazing and inspiring young man he is.  I live in Canada and am just as inspired and impressed with Fred's story of being so driven, positive, humble and kind.  Also, let's not forget the amazing 3 officers who helped Fred, along with the hotel manager, Casey Blaney and family, the pizza shop owner, Debbie Adamson plus all of the thousands of people who have donated and written to Fred.  I know Ellen would also love such a breath of fresh air.  We're all rooting for you Fred!
+2 votes
Jul 19, 2016
kimrae2 190 points
Ellen, you can't go wrong inviting this incredible young man to your show regardless of whether he wins or not. He is so grounded despite the difficulties his young life has faced.  I see him really going far in life and it would be great to have a connnection and way to keep up with his very inspiring story.  He is an exceptional young man to say the least!  He came to us when our country needed him most.  The difficult BLM movement along with police shootings, by policeman and towards policeman created a very confusing and angry time in our country and Fred's story has brought us back together.  I really admire Fred.
+2 votes
Jul 19, 2016
bacondiva 190 points
Fred needs to be on the show. What an outstanding young man, I wish him all success in school. I wish the media would report on him. There is too much negativity right now,
+2 votes
Jul 19, 2016
Wylene Spearman
Having Fred on the show would be a great opportunity to show the world that cops are a part of positive things in the community. Also, it would be great to show everyone that Fred was looking for a job (a hand up not a hand out). Because of his humbleness and determination, the Lord had truly blessed him in a mighty way.
tomlika 150 points
you have made us all so proud and restored our faith in struggling young men and women.  So many children can look up to you.  You did not ask for any of this but God saw the need and provided.  All of us watching your struggle let's us know that we can overcome our own struggles.  God has blessed you and all of us in watching you succeed from this.  You deserve all the happiness in the world and have received so many blessings that many don't receive.  Just be you and you can overcome all negative things in the world.  I hope that my son has the drive that you do, you are truly a role model for him.  God Bless you!!!
0 votes
Jul 19, 2016