A Memphis 19-year-old never expected a chance encounter with a stranger to change his life, but that's exactly what happened.
Ladarrius Gilmore had spent four years looking for work, and he wasn't about to give up. When he heard that Memphis's Central BBQ was hiring, the teenager decided to walk 30 minutes in the sweltering August heat to his interview, dressed in a full suit, AOL reports.
"Yeah, it was hot," he said laughing. "I was sweating."
Local attorney Daniel Hamilton noticed suited-up Gilmore carrying his dress shoes in hand, and he instantly pulled over to see if he could help.
"He told me, 'do you want a ride,' because he don't want me sweating in my suit," Gilmore said, according to WTVR.
The young man said that Central Barbecue was hiring a dishwasher, and he was going there for a job interview. Since it was a long walk, he carried his good shoes to keep them from getting scuffed on the way over.
On the way over to the restaurant, Gilmore told Hamilton he had dreams for the future, and he needed to start somewhere. According to Mad World News, Gilmore had his driver's license but no car, and he was not about to let that get in his way. He was taking classes at the local community college and hoped to eventually complete cosmetology school and operate his own barber shop. For now, he hoped to work nights and weekends as a dishwasher at the barbecue restaurant and work his way toward his goals.
He gave me a ride to Central BBQ and he came into the building," Gilmore said. "Then we talked to the manager, Mr. Tom."
Manager Tom Strange hired him immediately.
"I am happy to help a guy like that who is just getting started," Strange said. "He’s got the right attitude and Ladarrius definitely has the right attitude."
On Thursday, Jon Hodge of Contracting Solutions gave Gilmore a bike, so he would no longer have to walk to work.
Gilmore's hard work, persistence, and a little luck finally gave the teen a well-deserved start in life, thanks to an unforgettable stranger.
"I said 'thank you for giving me a job.' God would bless him for that," said Gilmore.