Jhaqueil was a homeless boy who was trying to get a job and get back on his feet. It took him three months to land his first job interview at a thrift store across the town.
On the day of the interview, he picked up his coat and started walking towards the store. Little did he know, someone had been watching his every move the entire time.
He caught the attention of Art Bouvier, the owner of Papa Roux restaurant. He noticed the boy walking alone in the snow and felt sorry for him.
He had no idea who the boy was, but when he noticed that the young man was trying to pass through his property, he decided to have a word with him. But things didn’t go as planned…
The boy approached Art before he could say anything and asked, “‘Excuse me, can you tell me how far it is to 10th and Sherman?”
“10th and Sherman? That’s about six or seven miles away. You’re not going to get there anytime soon in this weather. You’ll probably need to take a bus”. He replied. The boy thanked him and continued walking. But Art wasn’t planning to let him go that easily.
20 minutes after they parted ways, Jhaqueil saw Art again. He was driving down the 10th street with his wife.
Art stopped and approached the boy. “‘Well, how come you’re not on the bus?” he asked him.
‘I can’t afford the bus until I get a job.'” “I have to get to a job interview,” Jhaqueil replied.
Art was at a loss for words. It was apparent that the boy was very serious about his job interview. So, he decided to help him.
“I’m thinking to myself, ‘here’s a kid walking almost ten miles in the ice and slush and snow for the hope of a job at minimum wage.” Art recalled.
“That’s the kind of story your parents used to tell, my parents used to tell, up both ways in the snow.”
Art went on to say, “He had actually planned his time well, and the interview was still two hours away.”
It was then that he came up with an idea, something that would change the boy’s life!
Art said that he would try to get him a job at his restaurant if he didn’t get hired at the thrift store.
He asked for his number before driving away. But what Jhaqueil would have never imagined that this man was popular on social media.
When Art got home, he opened his laptop and wrote a long post about his encounter with the homeless boy. And it wasn’t long before his post went viral!
“I’m thinking to myself, here’s a kid walking almost 10 miles in the ice and slush and snow for the hope of a job at minimum wage,” he told Fox 59.
Sadly, despite all his efforts, Jhaqueil didn’t get hired at the thrift store because they had already found someone else.
He was devastated and hoped that Art would give him a chance.
In the meantime, Art couldn’t stop thinking about his encounter with the boy. He still didn’t know at this point if Jhaquiel managed to get the job or not.
So, he called him to find out how his interview went.
When Art heard that the boy didn’t manage to get a job at the thrift store, he immediately offered him a job at his restaurant.
Did Jhaqueil accept his offer?
“It was his work ethic that got me,” Art told TODAY.
“You don’t get a feel for that on an application or a resume, but when you see that in a person, you don’t pass it up. He’ll definitely get here for a shift if he’ll do that much for an interview.”
Not only was Jhaqueil on time for his shift at the restaurant, but sometimes he was coming earlier than everyone else.
He started to have hope for his future again, thanks to Art. “It’s gonna help me put a roof over the head. It’s just gonna help me tremendously,” the boy said.
Jhaqueil went on to say, “It’s crazy. I don’t even know. It’s really crazy,’ Reagan told Fox 59. ‘My heart’s just racing right now. I’m just too excited, just excited to start.”
Jhaqueil is one of the best employees at the restaurant. But most importantly, he loves his job!