She just graduated from college. She said her Uber passenger made it possible.

By Sydney Page for The Washington Post

Latonya Young, a 44-year-old single mother of three, received a bachelor’s degree last week. It was a lifelong goal — and she credits one of her Uber passengers with making it possible.

She met the passenger three years ago when she pulled over in downtown Atlanta to pick him up.

Kevin Esch, who had just come from an Atlanta United soccer game, got into her car. The two started chatting.

“The conversation was easy and felt authentic,” said Esch, 45.

He shared details about his recent divorce, and Young — whose marriage ended in 2011 — offered advice.

During the half-hour ride to Esch’s home, he learned that Young, who had been an Uber driver for three years, was working late that night because she needed money to pay a utility bill.

And he learned something else: Young wanted to be the first member of her family to graduate from college. Although Young started taking classes at Georgia State University in 2010, she dropped out a year later because she couldn’t pay the tuition.

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