Graduation time is an exciting milestone, representing a time that one time in a young person’s life has ended and a new one is beginning. But due to social distancing, graduation ceremonies across the country were modified or cancelled altogether. Graduation looked a lot different this year.

As high school seniors across the world found different ways of adapting, graduation looked unique for everyone. At Bessemer City High School in Alabama, there was a more traditional graduation ceremony, but it still wasn’t the memorable experience with family that one teen hoped it would be.

His teacher noticed his student was all alone

Dominique Moore was cleaning up after the graduation ceremony and noticed something just didn’t’ seem right with that one teen. “I know his moods and I knew he wasn’t himself,” Dominique said.

I asked him, ‘Where are your people?’ and he was like, ‘Nobody’s here.‘’

Dominique Moore to AL

Dominique then told him, “I expect big things from you and it’s going to be OK.‘” As he finished cleaning up, he noticed the teen was still there. So he offered to drive him home but he felt like he still had to mark this important moment in the teen’s life.

So Dominique decided to take him out for food and his student suggested a long casual wing spot but his teacher felt that wasn’t celebratory enough.

“He said, ‘How about Cheesecake Factory? I’ve heard about it but I’ve never been,‘’’ Dominique said. Teacher and teen, still wearing his graduation cap, enjoyed a shrimp basket with fries, and Oreo cheesecake for dessert, which he’d never had before.

Dominique fought back tears

Moore, who also graduated from Bessemer City High School, said he fought back tears throughout the entire lunch.

Man, I couldn’t imagine graduating high school and my folks not being there. At that moment, I just wanted to celebrate him. It was an amazing time.

Dominique Moore

Dominique didn’t ask his student why his folks were not present.

That very same day, the teen was scheduled to start his first job at Amazon. He didn’t have a way to get there, so Dominique offered to drive him there. And what is an already sweet story is about to turn sweeter.

He posted the story on Facebook–and got an incredible response

Dominique posted about what happened on Facebook. “These situations are common to me and I handle them on my own,” he said. However, even as a teacher used to these kind of situations, this particular teen had touched him more profoundly.

You don’t always have to show everybody or tell everybody when you do something but this one just didn’t sit well with me. I don’t know what it was.

Dominique Moore

Wanting to do more for his student, Dominique added his Cash App – $mooredaeducator – on his Facebook post, in case anyone wanted to be a “blessing” to the teen. As of Thursday, more than $5,000 had been donated.

Dominique then picked him back up from work on Friday morning, and then took him to a bank to open a checking account. The bulk of the money so far was put into a cashier’s check while they look for a car for the teen and maybe some money to put towards a college education.

One act of kindness can start a chain reaction

At a time where we seem overwhelmed with bad news, Dominique said both he and his student were overwhelmed by the generosity of others.

“He is ecstatic. He was about to cry and I said, ‘No, you will not cry in front of me,'” Dominique told his former student.

The moral of the story is this, he said:

We take people and life for granted. Even though we have bad, in this moment it shows that mankind is good.

Dominique Moore

By taking one initiative to help someone, we can actually be surprised at how much of a difference it can make. Dominique’s story is a touching reminder of the power of community and the kindness of strangers.

More uplifting news: