Valedictorian paying it forward to help get seniors to graduation

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Raleigh-Egypt High School valedictorian is paying it forward in a big way.  He is volunteering to use his own money to help kids who cannot afford transportation get to and from graduation rehearsal.

That high school senior said he would use that money to get an Uber for the kids who can’t make it to rehearsal.

During Class Day at Raleigh-Egypt Friday, the principal told students that Shelby County Schools is not providing transportation for graduation rehearsal as they have in the past.

Students were disappointed. That’s when Amin Buchanan stepped up in a big way.

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“I’ll see if I can lend a helping hand to those I know, to those who need it, to get them back and forth to graduation rehearsal and ceremony,” Buchanan said.

He is stepping up to help his classmates get to graduation rehearsal Friday. 

“It’s a lot, especially for the unfortunate families and all of them. It’s a lot to deal with,” he said.

Buchanan is stepping up because many of his classmates’ parents lost their jobs during the pandemic and can’t afford transportation. Graduation rehearsal is 9:00 a.m Friday.  Students say that time is also not convenient for those parents who have to work and most students don’t have cars.

“I’ll set up uber rides for individual parties and give them all a ride towards rehearsal and graduation,” Buchanan said.

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Buchanan started working at Popeyes on Austin Peay Highway in Raleigh last year to save enough money to buy a car. But, he says what’s more important than getting the car of his dreams is making sure his classmates get to graduation rehearsal.

“I’m doing this to show them they’ll have somebody who will actually care for them,” he said.

SCS says individual schools have the option to decide whether to provide transportation to graduation rehearsals.  

There’s no word from SCS about why transportation will not be provided at Raleigh-Egypt High School this year.