He stood by the counter as the last customers filled out the store, glad that the day was finally closing. But as he looked around the many electronic stalls scattered about, he noticed the boy hunched over one of the store’s tablets.
Curious, he eased around the counter and hurried over to him. What he found the boy doing left him without any words.
Tyson was your average twenty-two-year-old boy living in Houston, Texas. A lover of everything technology, he’d worked hard to earn a place at the University of Texas, studying electronics.
During his first and second years, Tyson made a name for himself as the boy who could fix any broken machine across campus. By third year, he’d attracted the attention of even the professors, a feat that would change his life for good.
As Tyson cleared his third year, the school invited him to attend one of the biggest technological expos in Brazil. He would be flying alongside a select number of students, each with unique gifts such as him.
Of course, Tyson agreed. A trip out of America was something he’d always dreamed of. He had no idea what was waiting for him across the Atlantic Ocean.
The trip to Brazil was magnificent. The people, food, and culture took Tyson and his classmates by storm, pulling them into the best weekend they’d ever had.
When the tech expo started the following week, Tyson was all but ready to experience more of what the country had to offer. But what he got wasn’t what he expected.
As part of their experience at the tech expo, the organizers awarded Tyson and his classmates a chance to work as electronics experts in a store in the city.
The position came with paid time, although the responsibilities were negligible. The program’s focus was to immerse international students into Brazil’s tech scene, which Tyson found very interesting. This is where the life-altering issue would occur.
Tyson and his classmates started their hours with fiery zeal. Alongside them were some students from Europe, Africa, and Asia, making the experience even more engaging.
The first day came to a swift end. The experience was eye-opening, but Tyson noticed something that made his brows draw close as the second day started.
A boy no less than ten years old stood before one of the tablets on display at the shop. He wasn’t merely admiring the gadget but scrolling through it.
Tyson didn’t mind it since browsing through an electronic to test its potency before buying was regular. But then the boy was too young to buy any of the electronics in the store by himself.
The boy spent a few minutes on the tablet and walked away. But he showed up the next day, taking the same amount of time with the tablet before disappearing again.
On the third day, Tyson’s last day at the store, he didn’t show up. Tyson had run through the tablet’s settings to see if the boy tampered with anything but the gadget was fine. So what was he doing?
As the day neared evening, Tyson returned to his post behind the counter. He was convinced the boy wouldn’t be returning that day, and the thought itself tore his mind apart.
Customers began vacating the premises, but as Tyson got ready to call it a day, he looked up to find the boy using the tablet.
Knowing this was his chance to get to the bottom of this mystery, Tyson rushed to him. He’s spent the last two days obsessing over what such a young boy could be doing in the store all by his lonesome.
Tyson had tried to formulate theories that would put his mind at ease, but he had nothing to go on. Nothing about the situation made sense, and he thought he’d lose his mind if he didn’t get to the bottom of it.
Now that a chance had presented itself, Tyson would embrace it with open arms. He hurried to the boy, only slowing once he was near enough so he wouldn’t spook him.
As he got closer, he noted new aspects about the boy that he’d been too far to see. But everything that he saw only made the situation incomprehensible.
Tyson noted that the boy was writing on a book alongside scrolling a webpage on the tablet. He was engrossed in the activity and barely noticed Tyson looming behind him.
When Tyson tapped his shoulder, he whirled around, heaving as if he’d been woken from a deep sleep. But what was he doing that he’d be so lost in it?
Tyson gestured for him to hand over the tablet, and the boy did, taking a step back and holding his book and pen against his chest.
Tyson ran his sight up and down the tablet, immediately realizing what the boy was doing. His lips parted, and he looked at the boy who stood quietly before him.
“You were doing your homework here?” Tyson asked in his barely comprehensible Portuguese. The boy nodded, explaining that his school had given them a lot of work that needed internet research.
Since the boy couldn’t access the internet at home or in his neighborhood, he’d been coming to the store to spend at least twenty minutes researching. Tyson’s heart broke when he heard the boy’s story. He knew he had to do something to help him.
As a third-year in college, Tyson could do little to help the boy with a stable internet connection at home. However, he did buy him a portable WiFi router.
He also shared the story with his supervisor, who put it up on social media. The story gained traction, with a tech company stepping in to not only award the boy a high end tablet but start an internet installation program in his neighborhood.