This Teen Sold Newspapers for 5 Years. Now He Has Enough to Pay for College

Pay for college
Image from Brad Vest:The Commercial Appeal

When you were 12 years old, how did you spend your weekends?

Did you wake up at 3:45 a.m. on Sundays to sell newspapers?

Kevuntez King did — every week, for nearly five years.

And now, the Memphis, Tennessee, 17-year-old has earned enough money to pay for college himself.

How This Kid Funded His College Education With Newspapers

King started selling newspapers at age 12.

Every Sunday, he woke up at 3:45 a.m. to get to his corner by 4:30 a.m., The Commercial Appeal reports — it’s also the paper he sold.

“The first time King sold newspapers he made $75, now he averages between $150 and $175 a day. For each [$1] newspaper he sells during his 12-hour work day, he receives 25 percent, but he makes most of his money from tips.

Tips? For selling newspapers?


Standing on the same corner, week after week, King gained “fans of his attitude and work ethic,” WHBQ reports.

“He always had a smile, always had something nice and positive to say,” said one neighbor.

His attitude gained him nearly 100 regular customers, according to The Commercial Appeal.

Since he never wanted his mom to worry about his education, or be burdened by student loans himself, King diligently saved his earnings — in addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA and playing three sports — and now has enough money to pay for college.

Starting this summer, he’ll attend Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he plans to study physical therapy.

Though King’s achievement has inspired many people — one even offered him an internship! — his advice to other students is simple.  

“Make sure you surround yourself with people that’s trying to go up in life and not trying to bring you down,” the upbeat teen told WHBQ.

“Just stay positive and always believe in yourself and push for it.”

Your Turn: What was your first job?

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.

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