POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. — The past year for Jayden Sutton has been amazing but challenging. The 18-year-old is preparing to go to college after navigating a year of unexpected results of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jayden was working hard to save enough money to buy his own car, as one of his moms had recently been laid off and her car had been totaled. One day a fellow classmate, along with their mother, Lavonda Wright Myers, spotted Jayden on his trek to work in the pouring rain and pulled over.
After driving Jayden to work and speaking with him, Lavonda knew that she had to help him in some way, so she started a GoFundMe for Jayden and was able to raise $7k (including some of her own money), and connected with a local car dealer to buy him a car.
“2021 has been an amazing year for me. It had its good moments and its bad moments. So at like the beginning of 2021 I had just got a brand new car. I was just happy and everything was going good, and not too long ago I lost that car, and then everything turned around I got a new car. Having a new car has definitely been a help,” Sutton said.
Unfortunately, soon after, Jayden was hit by a hit-and-run driver. Thankfully, he was fine, but the car was totaled and Jayden was back to walking five miles to work.
For weeks, Sutton walked to work again while he was without a car. He recalled walking 6-7 miles, which would take about two hours, after he got off the bus from school. At a restaurant gig, he wears multiple hats as a busboy, host, and a dishwasher.
“It sounds really bad but when you do it over and over again, you get used to it. It may sound crazy and so horrible to y’all, but walking that was just an everyday thing,” Sutton said. “It was something that I needed to do to just make sure I succeed.”
CarLotz heard about Jayden’s story and wanted to help him, as well so they gifted him a 2018 Hyundai Elentra.
The Kelly Clarkson Show partnered up with CarLotz and gifting Jayden a $10,000 check to use towards his college education.
“I started crying. To this day is till don’t know the right words to say when they told me I got that, It was great feeling and a big relief for someone to give me free money to go to school.
Now he has new wheels and a driving to the next chapter of his life.
“It was just life changing. I think that all the stuff that I'm doing is finally paying off. I was working towards something. It made me feel like everything I was doing wasn’t for nothing,” Sutton said.
Jayden’s advice to teens who may be facing obstacles is to keep going.
“You can’t expect for anything to change if you’re not making a change. So just keep working, keep doing what you are doing. If you feel like you are doing the right thing…One day, not today or tomorrow, but one day it’s going to pay off,” he smiled.