Andy Warhol famously predicted that in modern society, everyone would get their 15 minutes of fame. For Guatemalan immigrant Gaspar Marcos, it’s been more like six weeks. You may recall that it all started back on July 15th when the LA Times published a short documentary chronicling of 19 hours in Marcos’ hustle-centric life. The video profile followed the 18-year-old from his high school to his full-time after-school job, and finally to his early-morning bus ride home for a much-deserved four hours of sleep.
The moving piece was testament to the young man’s admirable work ethic, but it also helped humanize the plight of the thousands of others like him who came to the US as unaccompanied minors. Still, that didn’t mean that Gaspar Marcos wasn’t going to blow up. In the weeks since the LA Times video and accompanying article were published, a GoFundMe campaign has raised over $40,000 for the hardworking teen, and he’s been flooded with numerous offers of free board to help alleviate his $600 monthly rent. In addition, Gaspar has turned into something of a local celebrity, posing frequently for selfies as he moves through his exhausting daily routine.
But don’t think any of it’s gone to Gaspar’s head. According to a recent follow-up from the LA Times, even with a boatload of cash awaiting him from GoFundMe (half of which he’s promised to donate to fellow unaccompanied minors), he’s still taking the bus around town. To boot, he’s passed up the free room offers because he prefers to stay close to his school, and despite being able to access some of the money from his fundraiser, his life pretty much goes on as usual.
Whether or not his GoFundMe ultimately reaches its ambitious $100,000 goal, it’s clear the money would be a huge help. But, while other teens might run out to buy the flyest kicks or the newest iPhone 7, he’s mostly just looking forward to focusing on school and limiting his work to weekends. The rest of the money will go into a college fund.
Sounds like you’re on the right track, Gaspar. We’re rooting for you.