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Georgia man pays off Uber driver’s college debt, attends her graduation

ATLANTA, Ga. – An Atlanta woman’s college dreams achieved after an Uber ride after one of her rideshare passengers paid off her college debt.

Latonya Young says it was a car ride she’ll never forget.

“I got a call to go to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was an Atlanta United game,” said Young.

The 43-year old single mom was a hairstylist by day -- Uber driver’ by night.

During this particular trip, Latonya shared a bit of her life story with the passenger.

At the age of 16, she had to drop out of high school to raise her first child.

She recently had to drop out of college because of a $700 unpaid balance to Georgia State University.

"Every time I got ready to pay the money, my kids needed something. I said, ‘Okay. I’ll just wait.’”

A few days after that rideshare, Young got a phone call from the school.

"The message stated, ‘You can register for classes now.’ I was literally blown away. A stranger has never done that -- or done anything like that -- for me,” said Young.

That stranger was Kevin Esch, the passenger in the Uber.

A couple of weeks ago, he attended Latonya’s graduation from Georgia State.

“When he paid the balance, I had to do this for him,” said Young. "I maintained my grades. A’s and B’s. Just trying to do everything to make sure he knows I appreciate him.”

Young earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice.

This month, she’ll be back in class to pursue a bachelor’s.

Esch wasn’t available for an interview -- but says Young is an inspiration to him.