Most young teens wouldn’t pass up the chance to spend money on sprucing up a “new” car to do something nice for others instead—like buy 11 student-athletes new running shoes—with their hard-earned money.
Stefan Pressley of Pensacola, Fla., is not most teens.
The Pine Forest High School cross-country runner dropped $500 of his own money to buy every one of the boys on the school’s team new sneakers, the Pensacola News Journal reports.
“This dude works like a dog,” Pine Forest cross-country coach Paul Bryan told the news site. “He works with his uncle all through the summer—they’re junk collectors. He works like a dog. He’ll come in all cut up. … He was saving up his money because he wanted a car. He wanted a car so bad.”
Pressley had saved $700 when his brother decided to help him out and hand down his 2002 Honda Civic LX, which needed lots of work. But instead of spending money to fix up the car, Pressley had a change of heart at the beginning of his senior year.
“As I came into the school year, I just wanted to do something else with my money,” he said, joking that his teammates called him “the Mafia” because of all the money he had on him.
Pressley went to the Spike Night event at sporting-goods store Running Wild with his teammates and made sure they were set.
“I didn’t know I was going to buy that many shoes,” the senior, who turned 18 Friday, told the News Journal. “I already knew I was going to buy a couple of people’s shoes, but then I saw everybody there and I was like, ‘OK, I think I got my money on me.’”
“We have some guys on our team who can’t really afford [nice running] shoes,” the coach said. “I’ve got 11 guys, 11 boys that are really close. Pressley’s kind of their leader.”
As for Pressley, he just wanted to do something good to inspire others for when he leaves.
“What I did, I want it to just inspire people to not be selfish anymore,” the teen told the newspaper. “My team, I don’t want them to be selfish. With the underclassmen, I want them to be able to step up and be a leader when the seniors are gone. To take responsibility, even if it’s just something like making sure everybody has good grades.”
As for fixing up his car? Well, he’s still saving up for that. According to the News Journal, though, some locals inspired by the teen have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to repair the teen’s car.